Feedback is Frightening

Well, as you can probably see, my usual blogging schedule has fallen apart completely. Still, I feel like I need to provide at least a general update.

The autumn chill appears to have settled in. It’s snowing right now. I’m really not ready for snow. Emotionally, I mean. I do have salt and my snow shovel and I just got my winter coat dry cleaned. Still, yesterday was the first day of the season that I needed a scarf, and I only started using lip balm this week. I brought in Mr. Fig last night, which I really hope was not too late.

The good thing about fall, though, is that it’s now time for hot apple cider, fuzzy blankets, hearty food, and lap cats. Bella has begun spending a lot more time on my lap, which works out for both of us, since she’s quite warm.

I’ve also got a new, slightly larger slow cooker, meaning I have a 3qt and a 4qt. I plan to put both to delicious use.

The big news for this week, though is that I’ve received my first review from a test reader. Basically, my draft was an enjoyable read, but there are a lot of things I need to work on. I’ve got a lot of food for thought already, but I’m trying not to think too much about this project right now. I still need to get comments back from my other test readers, and I really do feel like I need a proper break from it.

Honestly, it’s a bit frightening how much work I still have to do on this manuscript. And yet, not doing it doesn’t really enter into the picture. I’m just scared that I won’t be able to make it as good as I’d like.

I also wonder when I should begin my revision, since I’ve already got two active projects: a short fairy tale retelling and an unfinished draft of the Shipping Project* (a not in the least bit epic, probably YA fantasy novel).

Part of me thinks I should finish that, because you’re supposed to finish what you start.** But, I think I need to think about where I want this story to go before I go any further with it. Then again, perhaps I should work on something shorter and go back to the Shipping Project when I can devote a longer stretch of time to it.

What would you do?

*Not the actual title.
**This is what Neil Gaiman says, anyway, and he probably knows a thing or two about that.

Wolf Season, Draft 2.0

Wolf Season, as you may know, is the working title of my werewolf novel, and I just finished a draft over the weekend. I had been calling this my third draft, but eventually I realized that it’s more like draft 2.0, since my “second” draft was really more like a draft 1.1.

Anyway, it’s done. I’ve sent it to people to read. I am terrified. It turns out I’m really insecure about my writing. For the next two months or so, I will have to try very hard not to think about what my test readers think about my manuscript. So far, it’s proving to be difficult.

I’ve started work on what I think will be a short story, although my outline is already about 600 words long. Granted, it’s a very detailed outline. It’s a fairy tale retelling, and I really like the idea. Once I’ve finished that, if there’s still time before my reviewers’ comments come in, I will probably try to get a large chunk of The Shipping Project written. Of course, I reserve the right to change the plan without notice.

The Writer is Nuts

The nice thing about having a lot of writer friends is that they reassure me that all writers are neurotic, especially about their writing. Well, I’ve been feeling especially neurotic about it lately.

I suspect, however, that I just need to finish off this draft (which somehow keeps on shrinking) and then show it to people, no matter how horrible I think it is, since I’m not sure I have any kind of realistic perspective. And I need to not look at this book while the others are reading it. I’m not exactly sure what I’ll work on during that hiatus. I’ll probably pick up the shipping project again and think about plotting out some of the other ideas that are floating around in my head.