Monday, November 9, 2015

Come on, Get Happy

Before I get into today's sure-to-be-riveting post, I want to give a shout-out to my brother. Today is his birthday, and I hope he has the best birthday ever. He's a terrific guy, and without him, I wouldn't be telling you what I'm going to tell you in this post.

So...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY FAVORITE BROTHER...THE BEST BROTHER FOR WHICH A GIRL COULD EVER ASK!



Sometime before the Great Canine Stomach Surgery of 2015, I did something that I, quite honestly, thought I might never, ever, do.

I finished Second Nature.

So you might be wondering why you're only hearing about this now. Why there wasn't a post on this blog filled with some choice Happy Dance gifs like these:




Aaaaaand maybe just one more because I can never resist the urge to use it whenever it fits...



Doing posts filled with Happy Dance gifs has become my habit/tradition upon the completion of a WIP. Well, all right, so maybe 'habit/tradition' is too strong a word/phrase. I mean, I did do it that one time that I actually manged to finish a WIP—because that really has happened only one magical time—but I didn't do that post this time. So maybe it's not a habit or a tradition or anything else.

But, whatever it should be called, I didn't do it this time.

Because here's the thing...When it comes to finishing this monster novel of mine (and at 325,000 words, it really is a monster), I'm feeling more like this:


Maybe I'm just tired. Maybe I'm just sad. Maybe both.

Or maybe I'm just not happy with how it turned out.

I mean, I know it's the third one. The other two may be contributing factors, but the truth is that I am not happy with how it turned out. There were some twists (well, maybe not 'twists', per say, but unplanned alterations to the original plans, at the very least) that came out that I'm not convinced (despite the best efforts of my brave, brave brother) that I...I don't even know. I just think I screwed it up.

Now, if I came on this blog and said how pleased I was with my work, you'd be running to escape the invasion of the body snatchers or whatever, because me being hyper critical of all I do (and don't do...*coughcough* exercise *coughcough*) is just what I do, along with being sarcastic and worshiping at the altar of Joss Whedon.

But I did the Happy Dance post before, so even if I maybe wasn't particularly pleased with what I had written (I honestly don't remember if I was, but I'm guessing not because I'm still me, after all), I was pleased to have done the writing. I was pleased to have finished the WIP.

This time...not so much.

And it's kind of stupid, too, to feel like this, given that the manuscript in question is still a first draft. It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be good. It just has to be done, and that I did.

Now it's sitting in a drawer (not, like, literally or anything) where it will remain until I decide to look at it again. A month, at least. Probably two. Maybe three. Maybe I'll never look at it again. 

Probably not that one.

Time away between drafts is always a good thing, I think. It allows one to look at a story with fresh eyes, and I know in the past when I have done this, it becomes much clearer what needs to be altered or cut in the next draft. It is my hope that time away will not only give me those vital fresh eyes, but will also help get me to that Happy Dance place (I don't know why I keep capitalizing 'Happy Dance', by the way. It just happens.).

I want this story to be good. Better than good, even. Or, as good as I can make it, perhaps. It contains my absolute favorite character, and I want to do her story justice.

So that's what I'm doing. Waiting. Patiently, as only I can.



So, that's gonna do it for me today. What's going on in your corner of the Internet?

47 comments:

  1. With that kind of a word count, I'd be exhausted, too. I'd say get some rest and celebrate when you have energy.

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    1. I would be nice to have energy again. :)

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  2. Time away from the ms will definitely help. Focus on resting and relaxing now - the holidays are just around the corner....

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    1. Relaxing. I've heard of this concept before. Perhaps I could actually work out how to do it properly now.

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  3. Do that happy dance. And then twiddle thumbs with Sam... or something else with Sam. Mmmm... Anyway! Yes, rest and work on the lizard force field.

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    1. Something else with Sam. Mmmm...

      I'll be in my bunk.

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  4. Just give it some time. You just finished. Come back to it with fresh eyes and energy.
    Happy birthday to your brother.

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    1. It's just...considering how long I've been working to finish this book, I really thought I would be happier about it.

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  5. I always find after I let a first draft sit for a few weeks, it's actually a lot better than I thought. Often it's actually even good.

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    1. I have had that experience as well, but I'm really not counting on it happening this time.

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  6. Wow, I don't think I could manage that kind of word count. No wonder you are tired. But congrats on finishing! I'm sure you will feel like getting back to it after a little time away.
    Happy Birthday to your brother. :)

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  7. My Gawd... that's not only a huge amount of words, but could it also be a trilogy in the making?

    Could the story be broken out into three 106,333- word chunks (with the extra word placed somewhere:)

    In any event, congrats and I don't blame you for wanting to relax and let the ms "ferment" for a month or two:)

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    1. It's actually the second installment of a trilogy, and breaking it up further just really screws with my 'vision'. I guess that's what I get for writing epic-ish fantasy.

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  8. Congrats on finishing! I'm sure some time away will help in figuring things out. We hardly ever get things right on the first draft. But just getting it done is a huge accomplishment!

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    1. It is. Which is why I'm irritated that I'm not happier about it.

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  9. I think you definitely deserve some time off after finishing that many words - congrats! First drafts always suck - I know I hate mine right now too - but some time apart will allow you to gain some perspective and I'm sure once you look at it again, it'll be nowhere near as bad as you thought.

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    1. I intended to take time off, but it didn't really work out that way. I am truly a failure at relaxing.

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  10. Sorry about the "not quite happy with it" thing--that is hard, especially with something so huge. Let it sit for a while. There may be a couple "easier than you'd think right now" fixes to turn it into a book you can love.

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    1. I sure hope that turns out to be the case.

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  11. When I finished the last book of my still unpublished series, I started a happy dance then sat down and felt like crying. I was sad it was all over. Heart broken even. I haven't even edited that book...about 4 years now...because I'm busy editing and trying to publish the first book. So I'm not done with this series yet and probably won't be for a long, long time.

    I sure hope you do work on this first draft again and get to the point where you can do an all-out happy dance.

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    1. I wonder if I'll feel that way when I get to the end of this series. I think I will. These characters have been with me for a long time. I'll be sad to say goodbye to them.

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  12. I don't believe in waiting patiently.

    But congrats on finishing the draft.

    I also don't believe in drafts.

    Except the ones that come through the windows.

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    1. I never wait patiently for very long, but I can handle it in small chunks of time. Very small chunks.

      I wish I could get my act together enough that I could maybe get the story right the first time so that maybe I could not believe in drafts, too. Someday, perhaps, I'll get there. Or, most likely, I might become efficient enough to write fewer drafts. :)

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    2. I think I just spend more time than everyone else on the first draft so that I don't need to make more.

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  13. I hope it's not never! But it's been a hard journey, so maybe you're just tired of it. Whatever the case, I know you'll do the right thing with it :)

    Happy birthday to your brother. And I hope the doggy is mending well.

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    1. It probably won't be never. Probably. :)

      And Big is mending very well. His stitches should be coming out in a couple of days.

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  14. For the last 2 weeks i've been visiting with my daughter and her hubby. This morning I got back to the writing grind.

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    1. Hope you had a great visit with your family, Shelly!

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  15. Happy birthday to your brother!

    With that type of word count, I can see why you're tired. I'm a bit tired just thinking of writing a book that long. Some books are like that for the first draft. I know when I finished the first draft of my first novel I wasn't happy. I was tired and had this "what the hell had I done" feeling. Going back to it with fresh eyes can help, and sometimes those first drafts that are so very hard turn out to be very awesome books.

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    1. I can only hope it turns out that way.

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  16. I think you deserve a reward for finishing. Maybe some binge watching whatever shows you love, a new book you've been wanting, cake...yes. Definitely cake.

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    1. Oooh. An excuse to eat cake. I'll take it!

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  17. Hooray for finishing the first draft! I'll do a happy dance for you. =)

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  18. Sounds a bit like buyer's remorse. Perhaps you just need to take your mind away from the novel for a time. Looks like you're doing NaNo, so that should do it.

    I'm sure it's not as bad as you think. You've been working on it for a while, after all.

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    1. I am doing NaNo. I hadn't planned on doing it, I had planned on taking time off, but it turns out that I am truly terrible at taking time off.

      Here's hoping the MS is not as bad as I think!

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  19. Aw, this made me sad. Hopefully, after a month or two in the figurative drawer, you feel differently about it.

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    1. I'm sorry! I didn't mean to make anyone sad! Look at the Happy Dance gifs again! Look—Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor!

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  20. It's happened to me too. But hey, you did something awesome (even if you end up not liking what you wrote). At least pat yourself on the back. ;-)

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    1. I don't know...a pat on the back feels like it should be reserved for a manuscript I'm actually happy with at the end of it. But I'll give it a try, though.

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  21. I've had that happen, too. But, I know that after that nice wait, you'll create the best story for your characters. :)
    Love the Happy Dance gifs and the way you capitalize it!
    Happy waiting, and maybe writing in the waiting part (or reading lots of good books). :)

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    1. I certainly hope I do right by my characters. After everything I put them through, they deserve that!

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  22. You deserve a happy dance, even if you're not entirely happy with the novel. You finished! That's worth celebrating. First drafts are always crappy. That's why you let them marinate a while, then go back to them. I like 6 months off before I look. By then I've usually written another book and have almost forgotten what I wrote and it's way easier to be hyper critical.

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  23. Being hyper critical is not something I've ever had problems doing. Finishing a draft of anything in six months...that's another story. Generally one of fantasy. And usually failure. :)

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  24. I'm sure this story is amazing and captivating. You should be doing a happy dance for sure!

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  25. I think it's great that you finished your draft. I look forward to when you pull it out of the drawer in a month. I hope you get your energy back and when you pull the story out of the drawer, it'll ignite sparkles and excitement. :)

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