Wednesday, August 24, 2011
My Fiction Day - It's Never "Ready"
And I wound up hoarse with chapped lips.
So here I sit with edits typed. I don't want to let loose of it. What if I missed the repetition of words like arm, car, look, pain, tremble, tear, or whatever else turned into an unconscious favorite word I never knew I repeated? What if the car is a Taurus instead of a Jeep? What if the timeline is off one day? I think all my pronouns aren't confused.
Maybe I'm asking too much. Maybe I'm nervous. The publisher told me to beat this thing up good. This was the last chance for content changes. Sure, somebody will review it twice more for typos and commas and double-typed THE's, but the story will have to stand on its newborn legs once I turn this in.
I spoke with her last week, excited about the edits, with promises I'd have it turned back around in two weeks. The last thing I want to do is postpone the tentative release in February. She warned me to take my time. Ever the one to please the teacher, I slowed down and dug in. But now that's spent that week "digging," I wonder if I've dug hard enough.
But I have genuine concerns that what I like in a story isn't what anyone else on the planet will like. What if I'm quirky and unique, and nobody else appreciates it? What if it's too simple? What if the colloquialisms don't work? What if my protagonist isn't likeable? What if it just sucks?
What will my mother think? It has cursing in it. What will my children think? It has violence and sex. Argh!
But I printed it off anyway . . . again. I want to read it once more without Track Changes and red and blue edits. I want to grab a bourbon, turn on the fan and sit on the porch, digesting the story like a reader, not a writer. I've never had the luxury of reading it for entertainment. I want to ride along with the characters, not dissect their movements, dialogue and thoughts.
So, dog hair keeps floating along the hallway, not vacuumed. Baby powder and hair coat my bathroom floor. The second picking of butterbeans in my garden is only half-worked, and weeds have started to grow. I shut doors to avoid seeing dust on dressers and end tables. Dinner is whatever anyone finds in the pantry to fix himself. Because I have to take a couple days to read this mystery from this debut author I heard of. I haven't seen the reviews, and I need to see if it's worth reading her work all the way through.