Wednesday, April 29, 2009

An Unpublished Novelist’s 100 Headaches of Fiction Writing

1. Brainstorming an idea
2. Creating characters
3. Plotting the story
4. Writing a first draft
5. Hating the first draft
6. Throwing out the first draft
7. Re-creating characters
8. Plotting a slightly different story
9. Writing a new, barely tolerable first draft
10. Adding new material
11. Cutting excess material
12. Rewriting for coherency
13. Editing more words than I want to think about
14. Getting critiques
15. Revising novel again
16.-29. Getting more critiques and editing until I nearly hate the story
30. Polishing up a final draft that still looks too flawed
31. Distilling a 300-page novel in an impossible 2-page synopsis
32. Writing the rest of the proposal
33. Revising the proposal
34. Getting feedback
35. Throwing out the 2-page synopsis that doesn’t work
36. Writing another it-can’t-be-done 2-page synopsis
37. Finding someone willing to look at this endless project for the umpteenth time
38. Implementing feedback
39. Finding an agent or editor to submit to
40. Researching websites and clients/catalogue
41. Composing a query letter as my brain is starting to decompose from all these headaches
42. Sending the query letter
43. Receiving a rejection letter
44. Scouring for more agents and editors
45. Researching them
46. Submitting more query letters
47. Revising the proposal to specifications
48. Receiving more rejections
49. Rewriting manuscript again
50. Revising proposal
51.-100. Repeating Headaches 39–50 until manuscript is accepted or I can’t take it any longer and I start back at Headache #1

So if writing is such a headache, why do it? Because not writing gives me an even bigger headache. :o)

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