It’s a bit depressing when you think you’re done — at least enough to evict a novel from the nest — only to have someone come along (in this case, two someones) to point out that your baby hasn’t quite grown its pinion feathers yet.
You’d think I’d catch those flaws in my own writing that I rail about in others’. But no.
A bit of advice: verbs can be passive without being in the passive voice.
The beginning of this novel has always been problematic. After five drafts, it has seen at least a couple total overhauls. And I still couldn’t see it. This is why we have readers and seek out critique, despite the pain.
This time around, the critique was easy to take. Relatively. Maybe because after five drafts it feels independent, ready to make its own way in the world. I wanted to dismiss it at first, but I knew I had a problem when two people (who, to the best of my knowledge, don’t even know each other) told me the same thing: Maybe I should cut the first chapter.
A good idea for a whole host of reasons, but not one I’m willing to take. I have a bit of an allergy to flashbacks (what deleting the first chapter would entail). It’s taken me several weeks and some fantastic suggestions by another awesome, creatively-minded friend.
So I’ve printed the manuscript — all 500 pages (this is why I rarely ever print them in proper format). The red pen is prepped.
That’s where I am heading next. After I submit this writing workshop application. While writing sides and coordinating logistics for the film project. Yay!