So, I’m reliably told that there comes a time when you look at what you have in your manuscript and mull it over. And the only conclusion you can come to is this:
I have written a book. And it is shit.
I think I got to that phase tonight.
There’s a core group of four guys I go to lunch with at least three times a week. We talk about damn near everything. Sports are a big one (which I am typically ill prepared to discuss unless it’s baseball – and even then they know WAY more) but we spend a lot of time talking about film, television and books. One of the guys is a fellow writer (he beat me to the punch completing his first manuscript) and as such we talk about writing. All of the guys save one has a copy of my manuscript in hand. Three of them read the whole damn thing. And, per my request they took notes.
Holy shit did they take notes.
The notes have been sitting for a bit. Quite a bit. On one hand I really have been busy. On another hand, a very honest hand… I’ve been kind of afraid to go to deep into them given that the reviews were really critical – as they should be. As requested they did not pull punches. I have to say…
The good news is that they found a lot of stuff I knew about and have already started working toward fixing. the bad news is there’s a lot of stuff I just… Didn’t think about.
And now, I stand at the precipice of ‘have I written a shit novel?’
Well I think it’s a little of yes and no.
The Liars (an honorific believe it or not) who run the Novel In Nine Months course have told us (us being the students) that your first draft is, in all likelihood, crap. It is riddled with inconsistencies, typos and holes in the plot one could drive a truck through.
It’s supposed to be that way. I get it. But is it crap?
My test readers seem to think not. The idea is sound, but the execution needs tightening. They’ve all agreed on that. It just needs… lots of tightening.
But, do I think that? I dunno yet.
Tomorrow, I begin the revision procession in earnest. I promised myself a month off. I’ve had that month. Now, I fearfully look over the shitty novel precipice and decide if it’s time to kick ass and chew bubble gum.
I am hoping that I am all out of gum.