Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Writer Hell #2

Hello folks,

I’m only on number 2, and I’m already sick of seeing this title on my blog posts. I know, however, that there will be many to come.

Back in February, I wrote about Writer Hell #1. Check that out when you’re really down about writing.

Unfortunately, this one is no happier. As I’ve said many times by this point, I’m working on my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University. What does that mean exactly? It means I get a lot of headaches—today no exception.

Last month, I wrote “The End” on the rough draft of my thesis novel. Man, that felt amazing. Last week (or maybe it was the week before) I made a painful decision. My thesis is currently in three parts, aptly named “Part 1,” Part 2,” and “Part 3.” I know, original, right? I would have come up with more creative titles eventually.

Would have, yes. Because Part 1 is no longer with us. After agonizing over it, I realized/finally let myself admit that Part 1 just didn’t match parts 2 and 3. It’s the same story, but the events are too far away. Part 1 needs to be its own book. And so it was cut.

Ready for it…I’m cutting a grand total of….

39,420 words


Yes, that hurts, burns, causes pain of any kind. With the manuscript sitting at approximately 107k words, that’s almost half. The only saving grace is that the new novel doesn’t need to be quite that long. My minimum goal is 90k, which saves me 17k words to write. That’s still roughly 27k, which, really, isn’t bad.

So maybe it’s not hell in terms of production. Where it is hell, though, is in the cutting. I have so many ideas for Part 1. Up until recently, I hated my thesis with a passion. Finishing the rough draft and getting into the bones of my characters and the story made me love it. I really wanted to see the entire thing (Part 1 and all) at my thesis reading next June. Not gonna happen.

I’m telling myself all kinds of things to cheer myself up—it’s for the best; now I can give it the attention and detail it needs; it’s not a big deal.

But when will I have the time to do it? Not between now and graduation, that’s for sure.

It also kills my title. I had a great title for this book. Now it needs to be a series title, and I need a new title. Ok, that’s a small thing, but it still bugs me.

To the disheartened writer, this is what it’s about. It’s about working, cutting, rebuilding, crying, sweating, hoping, praying, pounding your laptop into the floor, jumping up and down when you hit a milestone. If I can cut 40k words and still be determined to graduate on time, you can be a writer. Yes, I’m terrified, but I like the story now. That’s important. I just need to keep liking it until I finish it.

Ready, set, go!

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