Friday, June 13, 2008

Now what?

So at least twice people have told me the WVS is good to go -- they think I could get it published now. Superwife and another friend -- and maybe a third; I can't remember -- have both enjoyed it and said I should send it to a publisher. And don't get me wrong: comments like that are really nice to hear but--

Well, they're wrong. It's not ready.

Which brings up a question that I suppose lots of actual authors are confronted with, which is: at which point do you have to just stop fixing the damn thing, and let it go? Eventually -- and I would hope it's long before the point where your debating between commas and semicolons -- it actually is finished, whether you like it or not. And I doubt that any author is ever 100% satisfied with a manuscript -- just satisfied enough that further tweaking just becomes pointless procrastination.

I don't think I'm at that point, despite the pleasant opinions of others. Like I said earlier, I did crank the thing out in half a year; and for all intents and purposes it's still a first draft. I won't have to re-write the whole damn thing, but there are some chunks that need to be re-done.

Such is not the case with the MO. About 9 years ago, at a job where there was nothing much to do, I simultaneously got a better idea and finally decided to re-write some bits. The bits turned into lots, and from there the lots turned into most of it. I eventually, over not that many months (yes, there was very little to do at that job), I probably re-wrote about 90% of the manuscript.

Unfortunately, it's the first of two books, the second of which was similarly almost finished, and similarly unsatisfactory. The changes I made to the first book, not just to the plot but to the protagonists themselves, will require a re-write of the second book as well. I began that process at some point, heck if I can remember when, and then petered to a halt, maybe daunted by the task in front of me. (It may also have been around that time when the WVS began worming its way into my brain.)

So see, I have not one, but two manuscripts sorely in need of work -- both of which have been conveniently supplanted by the NT.

Isn't it nice the way that works? I'll never actually have to complete anything, because I'll always be busy with something else. Or be suffering from writer's ennui.

God help me if I ever do finish something...and like it.

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