Monday, November 12, 2012

Improve, patience, improve.

Well, I think I'm done for now.

101,000 words.

A nifty "high concept."  Some good stuff, some stuff I struggled with.

I'M ONLY HUMAN is about as good as I can currently get.  I think it's much improved, but whether it's good enough I don't know.  Some chapters are 90% of the way there, others are probably more like 70% of the way there. (Held back by structural plot problems that are hard to fix.)

I'd estimate the book to be in about the quality I once would've sent off, and  since I was only occasionally successful back in the day -- I'm not sure what that says.

I'm still hoping Jared is still willing to help me put it online -- maybe not with the big production we once envisioned, but something more than just throwing it out there and hoping for the best.  If you're reading this, Jared, give me a shout.

Another run through might be in order, once I get a little more feedback.  But the basic book is there.

How about that?

So I think I've learned again that I can get 50% of the way there in the first draft, relatively easy.  The equivalent of writing this blog, which I write with very little work drama.  That is, I try to make it readable, but I don't agonize over it.

So the second and third drafts get me another 30% of the way there, and are much harder to write and take way more patience.

Then, it's diminishing returns with each draft, small incremental improvements that take a long time and conscious effort.  I'm running up to the limits of my skill level, which need lots of time and work to improve.

I think it was this realistic assessment of my abilities that made me stop writing 25 years ago.  Not because I didn't think I was good enough, but that I wasn't good enough without enormous effort with very little return.

Having a new family and a new business, something had to give.

For many reasons, I made the right choice.  But now I have time to write again, and I'm very much enjoying it.

I'm trying to hold myself to the same standards -- or with a little patience even higher standards -- as when I had an agent and was trying to get paid for my books by publishers.  I'm trying to avoid the temptation to throw anything I write into e-books without working at it.

Hell, that may even be a mistake.  Maybe sheer volume of stuff is the way to go, learn to write that way.  An argument could be made.

But again, I'm trying to hold my feet to the fire.

Improve, patience, improve.

Linda,  reminded me that I should really thank those who have read my manuscripts.

I'm enormously thankful for this, and know how much effort it takes.  I use every single suggestion I'm given, and they could be even harder on me if they wanted to be.

Believe me, I'm know what a gift this is. 

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