I’m working on getting the first novel ready to release on my website. The hardest part so far was cracking open the old e-reader file and reading it again for the first time in over a year. The terror the novel would be worse than I remembered was foremost in my mind. Turns out, I was right even in the midst of my extreme burn out: it’s not bad. It needs a little sprucing here and there, but I wasn’t devastatingly overwhelmed by the fixes I want to make. First hurdle done.
I transferred it into its new format, dividing up the chapters into seven installments. I did it backwards, starting with the denouement and working my way back to chapter one. When I got to the beginning, I was reminded how problematic the beginning was for me while I was writing it. I faced the problem many first time novelists have: I got better at the story as I wrote. The final half of the book was so much clearer and less wordy than the first half. My initial edit made the beginning readable, but for the installment release I want to make the beginning better.
The surprise is that I’m actually enjoying making the fixes. I thought it was going to be a slog revisiting this story. The burnout I felt after I set it aside was so overwhelming it was all I remembered about the experience. Turns out, I like these characters. I want to give them a better showcase. I’m having fun making new connections, cutting out extraneous bits, and strengthening the dramatic tension. It’s the good kind of work.
Next up for me to obsessively worry about: the title.