When I finished my then-unnamed-novel, I felt a deep sense of satisfaction. It was done! I celebrated. I shared with a few friends who bravely volunteered to be first time readers.
And then I didn’t touch it for almost two months. At the beginning, I told myself it was because I was waiting for feedback. I knew it was going to need a heavy round or two of edits, but I wanted to see what they thought. But there was a growing dread under the waiting. Yes, it was “done.” Was it done right? Was it as good as it could be? Was it what I wanted it to be? What the bloody hell was the title?
Instead of addressing any of those questions, I moved on to other projects. New projects! New projects are fun. They’re clear and clean and not loaded with errors or hanging plot lines. There are no cringe worthy segments. Or chapters. It’s all wide open and waiting for perfection.
But the novel loomed. It stared. It… waited.
When the title finally came to me, it opened a floodgate of ideas and changes. I was faced with an unexpected decision. Edit what was or dive into these wondrous ideas.
Wanna take a guess what happened next?
A Great Sundering.
This time yesterday, I had a mostly complete book in need of some cleaning up. Today, I have two books that need to be finished.
But here’s the important part. I’m excited. I’m really excited. Until yesterday, the novel felt like a bundle of pretty entertaining scenes held together with marshmallow fluff. It was ambitious but scattered. Clever in spots, hurried and jangled in others. It wasn’t a first draft so much as a framework. (Have you seen this commercial? Makes me cry every time, but is so perfect and inspiring – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFVlAMO8obM )
I’m not throwing anything out, though parts will have to be entirely rewritten. I simply split the chapters into Book 1 and Book 2. And given how I ended the original on one heck of a hook, there will need to be a Book 3.
I started this journey with an excitement for writing a novel. I’ve moved on. Now I’m excited to write this book. With my beautiful, feather tailed ideas.