Presently, I’m working on four very different novels and a couple of short stories. Two novels are part of my “Apple Pie and Strudel Girls” Series, and the other two are new endeavors called “true fiction.” All of projects require different levels of research, and I’m finding that the true fiction is very difficult to write. You’d think it would be just the other way around, wouldn’t you?
Well, today, my editor friend, Heidi, finally read “Finding Gessler,” (one of the fiction novels) and gave me a good critique of what she had read over a plate of eggs and cinnamon roll french toast. She raised so many good questions, I have to go back into research mode and plan a big rewrite for the first third of the book.
As painful as this seems, I’m grateful for the feedback. Once I get into a story, sometimes I get confused about what I’ve included or excluded in the details. I get so anxious to get the thing written, off my desk and onto a new project, sometimes I forget important details. Anybody out there have the same problem?
Consider this. Heidi said, “Barb, you never described the physical appearance of the main character.” Really? How in the world could I have forgotten that? I guess I must have just figured the picture of the guy was in my head, so why would the reader need to know that. Yeah. Right. Admit the error and carry on, Barb.
The moral to this story is to put someone you trust into your writing life. It’s the only way an author can obtain CONSTRUCTIVE criticism for your work. Even if you think your project is “done”, LISTEN to what this vital person has to say. Believe me, it’s a lot easier to take the remarks at this stage than it is when a professional review hits the Internet or a newspaper.
So, for the next several days, I’ll be polishing up my manuscript before it’s proofreading begins. I only wish my writing students could see me in this “process.” Maybe then they’d believe me that writing something once is never enough.