My critique group met yesterday and proved, once again, that they are worth more than the pennies it costs to make them tea and put out a few goodies. My latest pages were praised and criticized (in the most helpful way), so now I have rewrites to do, notes to put aside for later consideration, and I shall move onward toward the end of my novel. Which is miles away, it seems.
Still, we march forward with the story and I hope I can finish the thing by the end of the year. It's been too many years....
Things have been tough here on the old homestead, as my dad used to say. But I managed to churn out three pages--a whole scene worthy of the first part of my novel. Sure it needs work--it's just a draft. Sometimes I think we writers get bogged down in our writing because we want every page to be amazing, but until the book is done and you start the re-write, the mantra has to be "it's just a draft."
BTW, I sent my mom the pages of my novel she didn't get to read while she was visiting in March. I made her promise not to give me any feedback unless it was good. I have my critique group to give me the bad news. :)
So, if you're writing a novel right now, remember: It's just a draft.
Inspiration comes from the most wonderful places. As I'm struggling with the romance scenes (being a bit shy and private, and wanting to write a book my mother will happily read), I came across a wonderful blog by Pioneer Woman. Ree Drummond tells the best story of how she and her husband met, courted, and married. So far, her blogs take you up to the wedding day. It's funny, it's a little hot, and it's a lot just plain romantic.
It was just what I needed to be reading to get in the mood. God sends inspiration by odd and amazing means.
Okay, you know the writing is not going well when you consider using a name other than your own on the book cover. I've been struggling away and seem to get nowhere. Maybe I shouldn't have my real name on the book, so I won't be embarrassed.
If it really stinks, no one knows it's you. If your romance scenes turn a little hotter than you'd like to discuss in public, no one knows it's you. On the other hand, if it turns into a best seller and is made into a movie, no one knows it's you!
So I am sustaining myself by reading and re-reading wonderful, encouraging emails from folks in my critique group who tell me my book is marvelous and who want me to finish so they can read the rest of the story. "Brilliant," said one of my more generous friends. "Just finish the thing" is the usual following comment. So maybe I will.
I'm a wife, an adoptive mom, and a homeschooler. I've been writing for money (and often not) for 30 years. Radio, TV, magazines, publication management. So I'm not new to writing in general, just to novel writing. A whole new challenge.