When I was painting my apartment a couple weeks ago, I had a very “that’s good enough” mentality about the whole thing. I wanted it to be really good, but I wasn’t going to sweat it if it wasn’t perfect. My father, who helped me, asked if I had the same outlook on my writing. Do I write something and say “that’s good enough” when I perhaps could take it to the next level?
If there’s one thing in my life that I take ridiculously seriously (sometimes too much) it’s my writing. It’s one area where I’m not lazy. Looking back on some of my books, I’d probably write them a bit differently now if I had the chance. But at the time I wrote them, I devoted myself 100% to making them as good as I possibly could at that moment. I’ve been happy with everything I’ve produced so far. I know I’m far from being the greatest writer to ever walk the face of the planet, but I think I do what I can with the skills I have.
I’m revising TALL, DARK & FANGSOME right now. According to my editorial revisions, I have some work to do on some foundation stuff, such as adding more humor (with a title like “Tall, Dark & Fangsome,” I can’t very well have an all-out dramatic tragedy going on here — even though that’s what the story wants to be) and adding some levels to the story. Such a small word — levels — for something so big in fiction writing, isn’t it?? I took a week to think about how to approach these and other tweaks. The first way would be to add in some stuff to make it good enough. Pretty easy fix, really. A line here or there. Wedge in a quip or a joke where necessary.
That would be “good enough.”
But I’m not going to do that. I’ve decided to go the extra step and really rework big chunks of the manuscript by rewriting them from scratch. I’ve gained some distance from the manuscript over the past six weeks since I handed it in to see that while I like it, I don’t love it. I want to love it. Whatever happens to it when it’s published, whatever the reader reaction will be, whatever reviews I end up getting — that’s far in the future. All I have right now and all I can control is what I put on the page. And I want to make sure what’s on the page fits as closely to what’s in my head. I know how to do it. I’ve made my revision notes. I’ve plunged into deeper character motivation.
Now I have 12 days to make it work. And at the end of those 12 days, I’m going to be exhausted, but I’ll be happy with the book. It won’t just be good enough. It will be good. At least, hopefully I (and my editor!!) will think so.
Therefore, I probably won’t be posting any new blog content until November. Must focus!! The fate of my vampires is at stake. No pun intended.