I just finished reading the second draft of my novel. And I actually enjoyed reading it. And that scares the bejeezus out of me.
See, before when I made the mistake of showing the first draft to my mom and she didn’t have anything to say about it, ever, I thought, “that’s ok.” Because, when I sat down to read it, I didn’t really like it. (I think I may have mentioned once or twice how flat the writing was? And the three plot lines needed a lot of work to intertwine properly and I needed to tighten the connections between characters. And…Let’s just say it needed work.)
So, having someone not like that first draft made sense to me. It wasn’t very likable.
But now. Now I think I like it. I have some edits to make – a few chapters needs to move around at the beginning and I seem to be overfond of the word “of” in addition to “that.” And there were the inevitable typos. And I still need to double-check all my uses of lay vs. lie. And I can see that the chapters from the first draft that I didn’t rewrite aren’t quite as well-written as the newly written chapters from the second draft. But…
It’s readable. (Is that a word? I’m declaring it one for today.) If someone had picked this up and read it, I wouldn’t have been ashamed to admit I wrote it.
Which scares me. Because, now, if I give it to my betas and they don’t like it, that’ll hurt. Before, I could agree with them. Now, I may just curl up in the corner and pout for a few days if they don’t like it.
It’s the nature of the beast, right? Not everyone will love it. My mom’s a pacifist who likes romance. A lot of people die in this book and most of the relationships are of the thwarted love type. So, I know in my heart of hearts (I swear, I save the clichés for the blog – at least I hope I do) that this isn’t a book written for someone like my mom. But it’ll still hurt when she doesn’t like it. Because I do.
I know it just needs to find its audience. And I’m going to keep repeating that to myself over and over again as my betas come back with comments. It’s not personal, right? It’s just the novel they don’t like. Right? Right?
It’s a damned good thing I have an ego the size of a house and that my father has long since passed away. No matter how bad it gets, I can always imagine that he would’ve liked it. It’s a fantastic thing sometimes to have an imaginary beta reader that is always supportive and encouraging…
Well, at least I have a week or so before I take up nail-biting as a hobby while I wait for my betas to send in comments…It’s not quite ready to go to them. I have to input all the edits first.