I finished a radical revision of Together is Enough this week and I’m so very close to finishing Brave in Heart. So incredibly close. As a reward, I made the catastrophic mistake of picking up a book that shares both a genre and a setting with the former. It was a lovely book. Character-driven, tense but believable, politically progressive, compelling, and concise. Just terrific. After I finished, I said, “Damn it! I’ll never write anything as good as that!”
Those different processes — writing, editing, reading — are part of our lives as aspiring novelists. But they bring with them almost predictable attitudes towards our works in progress. I think it plays out something like this…
When you start drafting, you’re enthusiastic about your project. Out of all the ideas you have, this is one you’re writing now. So you naturally think it’s going to be awesome.
Then, you start writing and you hit the first plateau. It suddenly doesn’t seem so awesome anymore. If you’re like me, this happens at about 20,000 words.
After a lot of hemming and hawing, you push through and finish the manuscript. As you type those words, those lovely “the end” words, it is so gratifying. “Gosh darn, this project is awesome,” you think.