Monday, August 2, 2010

(Work-in-) Progress Report: Bob

Word count (to the nearest thousand): 65,000
Status: Finished with the fourth draft
Attitude: Uneasy, a little

Well, Bob is off to his next batch of beta readers, and I'm feeling, as I said, a little uneasy. I have more concerns about this draft than I had about the last one, which doesn't make sense, because shouldn't Bob 4 be better than Bob 3? Maybe I'm afraid I didn't fully resolve all the issues my first two betas raised. Or maybe I realize I'm getting ready to buy another ticket to Queryland and I'm a little nervous about that.

I've never been nervous about querying in the past. (If anything, I've been a little too un-nervous.) But Bob feels different somehow. I've spent a lot more time on him than I spent on the first two projects I queried, and I've grown a lot as a writer since I've been working on him. Does that mean I think the universe owes me an agent and a book deal? Of course not. But it does mean I have a lot more invested in Bob. It does mean that if this one doesn't work out, either, I'll have to take a long, hard look at myself and my writing.

It does not mean, however, that I'm going to quit. As I mentioned in a previous post, I refuse to give up--for two reasons. First, I simply can't quit; I'm too addicted to these stories, these words. Giving up writing would be like giving up sanity, and those of you who write to stay sane, to have something grown-up to do every day, know exactly what I mean:)

But I'm not planning to give up my pursuit of publication, either, because my writing's still improving. As long as my knowledge of the craft--and my ability to execute that knowledge--is increasing, there's no reason to quit. (Thank you, Honey Bear, for pointing that out.)

So I'm not going anywhere. No matter what happens with Bob, I'll still be right here, writing away, inflicting my musings on you. But since you're perfectly welcome to inflict your musings on me, I guess it's a fair trade:)

How are your works-in-progress coming along? And what do you know now about yourself or your writing that you didn't know when you started your most recent project?


Kelly Bryson said...

Ummm, I knew nothing when I started writing my WIP. A fantastic and diverse crit group helped catch me up to speed, and now I know next to nothing. It's a way better place to be;)

Good luck. Let me know when you want me to take a look!

Jemi Fraser said...

I've just started querying and I'm hoping I'm ready. If terrified is a good sign, then I'm ready. :)

Holly said...

Stay down in the trenches and keep at it. Keep learning. I saw a tiny sliver of Bob on another website and really like your premise.

My general opinion: the more readers, the better. Try to find a professional to read the manuscript, even if you have to pay them. Look for a copyediter who gets your voice and the novel's big picture. I did this with the second version of my manuscript and it was invaluable.

I've rewritten my entire novel three times. Each time I added a storyline, and along the way I morphed into a better writer. I've halfway through the last and final rewrite and hope to query this winter.

They say that the more you write, the better you get, and it's true.

Myrna Foster said...

Wow, you turned that around fast. I'm still working on Star Swans 4 and probably will be for at least another couple of weeks.

Krista V. said...

Kelly, thank you for your offer. I'll have to see where I'm at after this round.

Good luck, Jemi. I'll have to pop by your blog every now and again to see how that's going.

Holly, thank you for your advice, especially the feedback you've given me on those tiny slivers of Bob. I've found it invaluable.

Myrna, the new Adair chapters you suggested I add came together exceptionally fast, and I was kind of working with an artificial deadline. (We're up in Utah for the next two weeks, and I knew I wouldn't get much done on the trip. So I wanted to make sure Bob was with beta readers while we were gone.) As I mentioned, though, I'm not sure I smoothly incorporated all the suggestions you and Amy gave me, so I may definitely be coming back to your notes in the coming weeks.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Do as many revisions as it at takes. You'll know when it's ready. :)

My MSs are getting an overhaul this week. I learned some great stuff at the RWA conference that I want to apply to my stories. So I've got the red pen ready. :)

Bset wishes to Bob!

Krista V. said...

Karen, how great that you got to go to RWA! And it's always nice to discover the changes you need to make earlier in the game.

Lily Cate said...

My WIP is hovering around the 16k mark. I usually like to pound out the first draft start-to-finish, but I think I'm going to go ahead and revise the first act before I move on.

Esther Vanderlaan said...

What encouragement! Wow! All my manuscripts are being written :| Not so good!

Michelle Leeds said...

I did a lot of thinking just as you suggested. I think I have the trouble worked out. Thank you. :)

Along with some of that thinking, my WIP just got a little harrier in other ways. I have always worked on my stories a section at a time, 'perfected' that section and then moved on. I need to go alllll the way back to like chapter 3 and rework something. I am losing my mind. I have never worked this way before. :\

Krista V. said...

Lily Cate, it's interesting that you mentioned trying something different in your writing process. Sometimes, you just need to shake up your approach to have a breakthrough.

Esther, you gotta start somewhere. Keep at it!

Michelle, welcome! You know, I was a perfect-each-section writer for a long time, but I found that that made me less likely to make major changes later on. Letting a manuscript be not-perfect for now has been really liberating for me.

Christauna Asay said...

"...write to have something grownup to do everyday..." LOL! You couldn't have said it better. :o) Go Bob!

Krista V. said...

*blushes* Thanks, Christauna.