I’m mostly happy to announce that I’ve completed the third draft of Bad Romance and delivered it into the hands of two volunteer readers. This will be the first time anyone will have read the entire thing all the way through. It’s a big landmark on the pathway to a completed novel, and I have a lot of conflicting emotions around it. Hence the “mostly” in the first sentence. Yes, it’s great to hit a landmark (which is bigger than a milestone), but it’s also sickeningly fearful to let my baby go, to turn it loose into the wild. Once it’s out of my hands, it becomes something else, and there’s nothing I can do to shape what it becomes when someone else reads it. Moreover, there’s still plenty of bad writing in the book, and I know that, but I had to do this at some point. I just decided to take the more emotionally risky path of sharing something I know isn’t nearly polished enough, and get some steering and course correction early on, rather than the safer path of waiting til I had something that felt more done (but which would be harder to make major changes to).
I’ve also decided this is a good time to turn off the writerly part of my brain for a while, and not even think about the novel. Let it cool, rest, ferment, cure: whatever. Pick your metaphor (it’s what they’re there phor). So now I’m just a normal guy again, a guy whose first concern isn’t always writing, and making time for writing. As with any newly reclaimed freedom, it’s exhilirating, unbalancing, and self-revelatory. I hadn’t realized what a burden it was to be carrying that book around for so long. I look forward to taking up that burden again, but it’s very nice to take a break and think about other stuff, enjoy other things that life has to offer.
More about that another time, though. For now I just wanted to share this update, that, even though it’s proceeding much more slowly than I would like (I can’t believe it’s been one year since I updated this blog!), Bad Romance the novel is still in a state of forward motion. After I hear back from my wonderfully patient and generous readers, I’ll absorb what I can of their feedback, and get back on the revision train. Probably after that, there’ll be one or two more major rewrites. From there, my plan is to share with a wider audience (6-12 readers), get any last feedback I can, incorporate any last bits of polish that seem necessary based on that feedback, and THEN start looking around for agents.
Some days finishing seems close, some days not. Every day, though, I’m just grateful to have gotten as far as I already have.