I’ve spent these last few months pushing hard to finish Secret Need, the second of the Harper Sisters Trilogy. I’ll admit, writing this second book has been a real struggle. It’s taken me twice as long to write and caused me four times as much mental anguish.
This is partly because I feel like I’ve learned just enough in this past year to realize how much I don’t know. It’s easy to get caught up in feelings of inadequacy. There have been many days where I’m convinced I’m a hack.
On the other hand, I know just enough that when someone asks me a question, I usually have an opinion. Then I think, I’m not credentialed, I don’t have a degree, what business do I have stating anything definitively? Why did they even ask me? I’m not an expert. I’ve only published one book! (Imposter syndrome – I haz it.)
Despite all of this, I’ve been making steady progress on Secret Need. I finished the rough/rough draft back in July, sent it to my alpha readers, received some great constructive feedback, and have been working on implementing those new ideas.
This last weekend, I had one of those moments that makes it all worth it for a writer. I was having difficulty with one of the subplots, it just wasn’t fitting quite right. It’s something that I’ve been mulling over for the last three months, easily. And, out of the blue, it clicked! Inspiration, clear and bright, revealed the answer to my problem. All the little pieces fell into place. I was once again inspired by my story.
This is why I love to write. For those fleeting moments of perfect clarity.
So for this Monday morning, if you’re reading this, I hope this post encourages you. I urge you to keep going. Make your way through the slog. Find that moment where you, too, can be the master of your universe.
12 Steps of Revision:
- Stage 1 – This set-up isn’t bad. Does it read true enough? I’m not sure about this dialogue.
- Stage 2 – Man, my protagonist is such a dynamic character. I hope I can do her justice.
- Stage 3 – Is this dragging? Oh God, this book is doomed. Why am I doing this to myself?
- Stage 4 – Holy shit, I just gave myself goosebumps. That’s not too shabby!
- Stage 5 – Danger, danger! Gotta keep them running.
- Stage 6 – Add a little chemistry…
- Stage 7 – Is this too convenient? Am I being too easy on these guys? Aaah! I’m such a hack. Where’s the wine?
- Stage 8 – What was that character’s last name? Didn’t I have another guy with a name that starts with ‘H?’
- Stage 9 – I can’t believe my husband let me quit my job for this. I had a perfectly good career. What have I done?
- Stage 10 – Wait, my alpha and beta readers can help. And this hasn’t even been seen by my editor yet. We may be able to salvage this.
- Stage 11 – I hope this resolution isn’t too pat.
- Stage 12- Actually, this isn’t too bad. I think it’s better than my last one. Or will be. I just have to fix this, this, this, and…
How about you? Do you have any great tips to get through the editing process? What has been your experience while revising your work?