Riding the Struggle Bus with my Novel

I’m struggling with Gaia’s Hands again. 

I just don’t get a feeling of cohesiveness. I feel like I’m blobbing paint on a sculpture randomly and it’s not smoothing out. I’m not sure what to do about it.  

If ever a novel needed to be burned in a bonfire, this is the one. Or is it?

Sometimes, my negative notions of a book I’m writing are based more on how I’m feeling at the moment than the book itself.  So I have to ask myself if the book is really as bad as I think it is, or whether I’m just feeling discouraged. Conversely, I have to ask if the book is as good as I think it is, or whether my opinion is being buoyed up by a bubble of optimism. I don’t come up with many answers, which frustrates me.

My husband is not much help. No matter what I write, he says it’s good. First draft, good. Twenty-times edited manuscript, good.  Never great, never bad. 

So I have to go back to that beast of a novel and try to smooth the random lumps:

  • Does the relationship between Jeanne and Josh (given the 25-year age difference) make sense? (This is a fantasy novel; suspend your disbelief.)
  • Are their connections with Gaia developing at a reasonable pace and/or precipitated by plot factors? 
  • Is the plot with Growesta/her department (the bad guys) developing?
  • Does anything feel just “stuck in there” for no reason except to pad out the word count?

I didn’t understand what editing was all about for the longest time. I copy-edited (proofread) and considered it editing. Now that I know what real editing is like, I understand why editing takes longer than writing the book. It’s challenging, and often bereft of hope.

Wish me luck, folks. I’m considering building that bonfire.

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