I finished my rewrite of THE BOOK BINDER’S CURSE today. (This is my new working title for my Peter Pan adaptation that I wrote as part of NaNoWriMo six months ago. It’s been called other things, and it might yet get a different title. One never knows, with titles.) If you’ll remember back to when I was writing the book, I experimented with a lot of new approaches in this one. Specifically: (1) It’s written in third person, a point of view I hadn’t used in over a decade, if I’m remembering right. (2) It was written without a firm outline at all. Just a very simple set up, central conflict, and goal. Think of it like a “solve this maze” approach to writing. You know where you start, you know where you have to get to, and then getting there is most of the fun. (3) I wrote it very quickly. There was no time for me to question my plot or go back and make changes to things. I had to get 2,000 words done every day, and with my schedule, I didn’t have time for any waffling.
So when I approached the book for my first read through after I wrote it, I was more than a little nervous. For one thing, I couldn’t remember a lot of what I’d written. My writing group had gotten through about 2/3rds of the book, but I myself had been away from it for pretty much the whole time. Also, you respond to a book differently when you’re only reading it a chapter every two weeks. How would it work as a whole? Would I dislike it? Would I be able to tell I’d rushed myself in spots too much?
I was worried.
Now that I’ve read the whole thing through and revised it to get it as consistent as it can be at this point, I think I have at least some inkling of how it went: very well.
The voice was a lot of fun, the characters engaging, the plot pretty smooth, and it didn’t feel like a rush job. Huzzah! In a nutshell, I enjoyed reading the book. Does that mean it’s great and ready for primetime? The jury’s still out. I’m sending it off to my alpha readers and my agents today, and we’ll see what they think once they’ve had a chance to read it. I realize that I’m often unable to really assess my own writing. I wish it weren’t the case, but such is life. Will they like it? Time will tell.
But I like it, and that’s a big something. You have to celebrate the somethings.
Now what will I work on? That’s a valid question. I’m not ready to turn back to MAGIC AT 30,000 FEET just yet. Too soon. And I haven’t heard back about how my latest version of OUR LADY turned out, so that means I guess I’ll . . .
Work on an (as yet) secret project that I hope to be able to tell you about next week. The blog post is already written. I was gunning to publish it this week, but it was not to be.
Keep your eyes peeled, folks.