Last night, while whining about the TV situation, I mentioned that I needed to get back to work rewriting the novel I wrote last fall during National Novel Writing Month.
For most of the month, I blogged the novel as I wrote it. Towards the end, as I struggled to make NaNoWriMo’s 50,000-word requirement, I had to go back and rewrite what I had already written, and it became impractical to keep the blogged version in synch with the “real” version. So I took the blog down, disappointing a couple of readers. I offered to send one or two of them a copy of the finished draft if they wanted it.
I was so enthusiastic about the novel during that month, and so thrilled when I made the 50,000-word requirement, and then when the month ended I decided to set it aside until after the first of the year and let it cool off before looking at it again.
Well, the first of the year came and went. And I looked at the novel every now and then but never put my nose to the grindstone.
When I mentioned the novel last night, a couple of regular readers asked me about it.
I don’t know why I haven’t been more diligent about working on the thing. I think I’m scared. I don’t really think it’s marketable; it doesn’t fit easily into any genre fiction slot, and yet I don’t think it has the heft to be considered capital-L Literature. I like it, but then again it turned out to be a lot more personal than I intended. So I have no idea whether anyone else will really care about it.
Maybe I’m too lazy to do the work involved, or too stubborn to think about giving up this passage or that one.
Of course, it was speed-written, almost a stunt. Even if it’s awful, that doesn’t mean that I’m a bad writer or that I wouldn’t be capable, under other circumstances, of producing a good novel. But something about going back to the manuscript scares me. I’m not sure what to do with it. Do I try to send it to a publisher? An agent? Do I try to publish it myself? How much editing is enough, and how much is too much?
I looked at a few pages just now, added some punctuation, turned a description into a first-person thought. Hopefully, I’ll keep at it in the weeks ahead.