I have finally started reading over the working version of my WIP for the second time, in order to track the progression of all the different character-arcs so that I can see what needs work.
I am such a lazy reader.
Which is nothing new. The first time I tried reading Tallulah to make notes on it I ran into the exact same problem. It’s one thing to be self-aware, and quite another thing to actually change your mindset. I spent about fifteen minutes making notes on what I’d just read – a two-page section of Chapter 1 – and had to keep going back and revising them because I hadn’t actually properly read what I’d just read and my notes were not accurate.
It is highly frustrating, but I guess I can just call it ‘warming up’. I really don’t want to read this thing again, because I just read it about five weeks ago, but these notes have to be made. I feel a ‘head-into-brick-wall’ moment approaching, and while I want the payoff that such a moment brings, the realisation that I need to do something different and whatnot, the actual connection of my head to said wall made of bricks is less appealing. And a bit premature to predict. I mean maybe this is the exact right thing to be doing and I’m just reluctant to get started because it’s so FUCKING HOT I mean sweet Turkish Delight does the sun not know I’m trying to revise a goddamn novel here? And also because, well, work. I hate work.
But I love writing and I love storytelling, and reading is part of both. So hopefully my habitual recalcitrance has been sufficiently weakened in order for sheer force of will to power me through the rest of this re-read, and remember that, while it is taxing and energy-consuming, it doesn’t have to be Work. (Although of course I want to be able to do it even if I do see it as Work, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.)
And I’m thinking, right now, that splitting this story into three different books might not be the worst idea I’ve ever had, for the same reasons I’ve brought up before and are incredibly easy to imagine – more of a chance to focus on and expand upon specific ideas without having to juggle them all in the hopes that they create a coherent and engaging story with their narrative powers combined; more of a breather for me because I’ll only have to focus on an isolated set of ideas at any given time; and because, if publishing trends are any indication, serialisation seems to be where it’s at now, and has been for the past little while.
Mostly my reluctance to turn this story into a series has been driven by the fact that ‘everybody’s doing it’, and I can only take so many open-ended resolutions to the books I’m reading before I want to throw something made of glass into a hypothetical author’s face. It’s not like a Part 1 can’t be a satisfying stand-alone story, it’s just that a lot of the time it’s not. I only really want Tallulah to be a single book because I want to provide that sense of closure that comes with a self-contained story. And there’s no reason I can’t have it. I know that, objectively.
Because that always helps.
Just as I know, objectively, that I am able to read over my own work with full attention and enjoyment. It’s just that these ‘of course I can’ statements are never made in a vacuum or without context. Right now my context is that I’m way too hot for this shit (so is the weather, but I digress) and what I want to do more than anything is take the vague notion of what my story is about and start a full-on rewrite, only referring to the general structure of my manuscript for reference, because I feel like if it’s memorable enough for me to recreate from memory, then it’s worth keeping, and if it’s not, it’s not.
And I know, objectively, that this is at least partially impatience talking, so I won’t do that. I’ll read it again. I still haven’t looked at my latest batch of notes – here’s another one: PUT ALL YOUR NOTES IN THE SAME GODDAMN PLACE. Having half of them written on the hard copy and half of them written on a computer is NOT HELPFUL. And it makes more work that I have to deal with if I want to consolidate them, which I don’t, but which is probably the best idea.
Hell, maybe that’s what I’ll do: read the hard copy with all of its penciled-in notes and corrections.
It’s so hooooooooooot …
And I have work to do. Ugh.