Sunday, April 14, 2013

Birthing Your Novel (Ouch)

          “When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come,
but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish,
for joy that a human being has been born into the world.” John 16v21


Pain is all you can think about in the moment. But more than childbirth (thanks to the prowess of modern painkillers) I remember the overwhelming nausea of the first trimester. I remember thinking, “I’m not in a hurry to feel like this again.” And yet, the minute that baby is born, it’s like we can’t even remember any of it.

Pain…what pain? “Look at how cute she is!”

Novels are kind of like that, aren’t they? Especially that huge Act 2, the “middle”. Makes me want to throw up just thinking about it. In my WIP (work in progress) I just crossed the 50k word mark. For the last few years I’ve been writing shorter, 55-65k novels for Love Inspired Suspense. (The first one comes out summer, 2014.) Tackling a full length novel feels like a marathon, when I’ve only ever run a half.

And yet we press on, to that glorious day when we too can shout, “It is finished!” Ahem. The End. I can’t wait! Why is this so hard, anyway? I’ve been writing this full length beast since January. I should be done by now, people. What the heck?

I digress.

The glory of the finished first draft, which I might add is glorious since it clearly is PERFECT. At least, until you actually go back and read it. Hard to remember the gut-wrenching anguish of actually hitting your daily word count goals when you’re looking at that finished product, all shiny and new on your e-reader home screen.

Read me, read me!

We think, “Look what I’ve accomplished! Clearly, I can actually do this! I should quit my job do it all over again!”

Forgetting for a second, the hours and hours of additional hard work that goes in to making that first draft an actual saleable book that people actually want to spend their money on and then actually read: when you’re in that middle, that “hour” that has come, PRESS ON. Get through it, around it, over it, under it. However. Just KEEP TYPING.

Because The End will come.

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