Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The tunnel

First, Tomorrow go over to K.M. Walton's blog. Something big will be happening. I don't know what it is, but it's big. That's all I know because Kate won't tell anyone just that it's big. Sometimes she such a tease. She's killing me with this. :)

So, I feel like this tunnel I've been in forever is lasting forever. I do see a small light at the end, but it keeps getting farther and farther away. The tunnel keeps growing and the light is getting dimmer. I'm almost done a major overhaul and now I'm scared that there will be more. It's a big fear. I've been consumed in this manuscript for 2 years. Yes, it's my first, but I can't let it go until I'm satisfied. I've tried working on other stuff (even writing another novel), but I can't get my mind off of this one until it's complete. I don't know why.

I know the odds for this one are slim, especially because it's my first one. Everyone tells me your first novel is always the one that's practice. It seems like everyone tucks it away in a drawer for no one to ever see. Then why am I so determined? Why am I pushing this so hard? I should just chalk it up to this was my first.

I guess, I'm so close to being satisfied (until my betas read it and tell me no), that I can taste the red velvet cupcake with cream cheese icing sitting on a table at the end of this tunnel (I know that made no sense, but I love red velvet cupcakes). I have the query (needs to be tweaked), the synopsis, and this manuscript (need to finish tweaking), so why do I keep questioning?

I know I won't stop, but that feeling of this-will-be-a-long-road keeps poking my brain. That's my crazy story today. I'm pushing through, getting to that cupcake even if it takes me a while. I just hope it's not stale when I get there.

How's your progress?

How do you know when to give up on a project?

Have a great day!


  1. I definitely spent too long revising my first manuscript to no avail. But I learned a lot. Sometimes you don't see how much you've improved until you write fresh. If you're tweaking, I'd suggest to make sure you are writing new too. Even if it's just short stories. That's where you'll see the progress!

    And it's different for everyone. When the beta reviews and chapter crits come back with nothing major. When you know nothing else can be done as far as you can tell.

  2. You can make it to the cupcake! If you're still pushing to perfect your first manuscript, it's probably because your gut is telling you to. And I say always listen to your gut. :)

  3. i understand the tunnel. i think every writer who's honest with herself does. hang in there. don't give up on it just because it's the first, and i might say there comes a point where you have to ignore your beta readers and trust your gut. if you've been at it 2 years, i'm pretty sure you know your story well enough to know if it's done or not.

  4. I think you must love and believe in your story! And there's nothing wrong with that. (As long as you're not procrastinating starting something new by fussing with the first novel.) Make it as good as you can, eat that red velvet cupcake (yum!) and let a Shiny New Idea nab ya. :) Or maybe the SNI will be what moves you on; they have ways of doing that!

  5. I think I told you I'm making what's probably the 10th round of revisions on the 2nd novel I ever wrote (although it won't be the second one published.) I'm seeing possibilities I never saw before -- things I learned while writing the two novels that came afterwards.

    So I don't think you ever have to give up. But if you let go of it for awhile, you might learn more about this story while working on another one!

  6. You never know with first novels, though. Maybe you tuck it away for a while and come back later and create something incredible.

  7. Well no matter what happens the journey is part of it--helps you get someplace. The place you are meant to be, right?

  8. There is a lot I want to say about this, but I'm going to refrain since I'm no expert. Because I know you, I know the two of us share many of the same feelings about the journey I'm taking. What I will say is that I firmly believe everyone is an individual, and one of the easiest mistakes we make is comparing our progress and results to the progress and results of others. If we write something that has potential, it will happen - and the only way to know for sure is to keep going. I guess that's why we don't give up.

    My progress? Well, I was having a great run, but it has slowed down. I'm already plagued with holiday distractions (not a good time for a writer to work retail) and my work schedule commands more and more time. I'm also waiting for test results, and I haven't been able to focus on much else. I still revise every day, but I never accomplish my daily goals. It's frustrating (and it makes that tunnel longer).

  9. I don't think we ever stop questioning and wondering. Doesn't make the journey easier though.

  10. oh, I wouldn't ever just give up on something unless it's like a partially finished MS I can't seem to end. You might consider writing another story and then coming back to this one later. A thought~

    and now what's all this at KM's place? ;o)

  11. Christine, there's no answer to your question. I met a writer who revisited the same novel and rewrote every year for 10 years, even while she wrote other book and began to get them published, until she got it right. Jessica Bell worked on her novel that was just published for over 5 years. Sometimes the idea to make it right is just out of our reach.

    Good luck getting out of that tunnel.

  12. I sympathize, Christine! I've been revising and tweaking my first novel for 2 and a half years! I'm almost finished writing my second novel. But when I start querying agents in February (that's my goal, and I'm sticking with it), it'll be with this first novel. I know everyone says you don't get your first novel published. But I'm willing to bet you've revised yours to the point where it's strong enough to get you an agent.

    And that's all you need right now.