Well, here I am again in that space where I am reliant on my friends’ honest opinions on the 6th draft of Fendrel’s Tale Volume 1, The One Who Will Come.
It is a truly wonderful, yet at the same time painful experience handing your baby over to a “stranger”. Oh, you may know them very well, after all you have just entrusted them with your own personal creation. No-one else has made it, you have, and now, you have to wrap it up in its scarf and hat and give it to someone who is not you. They don’t think like you, they have had a different life to you and they haven’t got your expectation of the work you have just given them.
Strange, no that isn’t right, it is far from strange, as though you have just made a contract with the devil and found out that he has screwed you and there is nothing you can do about it until he gives it back, bandaged, damaged, tattered and defiled.
You smile your best non patronising smile, say thank you and look at the pages. Red with blood, the blood of comments and questions, the “I don’t think this fits here”, the “maybe this is just a bit too long winded” and even worse, “are you sure this bit is needed at all?”
Then it gets worse because they don’t get it and the angry red lines become thicker, more concentrated and some have many exclamation marks all over the side of your once pristine, virgin paper.
But, here’s the rub, you know that even at this late stage in the book preparation (after all, this is the 6th draft and if the truth be told it is probably the fifteenth or sixteenth because you keep on looking, looking, tinkling and reviewing) you know that what they say about that particular point is the same comment as two other people and you have to make a fundamental change to a significant part of the book.
But, quite what change, only you can decide.
The best advise I can offer is to sleep on it. Don’t do it straight away, you will still be in an emotional state. Let it rest, put it away, then a few days later when you are not as attached to it, sit on the bed just before you retire and ask for the way forward to come to you in your sleep, so that when you want to remember it, it will come back, clearly, precisely and just right.
I can vouch for this method, for that is how and why I was able to write the third volume of the trilogy in 21 wriitng days over a period of 25. I got what I needed when I needed and in a quantity that I was able to deal with, so that in just those 21 writing days 107,000 words came out on the pages.
It still needs editing and reviewing and is a long way from the 6th or 16th draft I spoke of earlier, but the first part is done.
Let me know how you get on with proof readers comments, after all, all three of them can not be wrong.
Keep writing, for you know you have too.