I just spent the past four years (well, very part-time over the past four years) writing a novel (PRETTY FREAKY).
Right before Christmas, I completed my fourth revision. It was torture. I love the novel, but it was hard going and it weighed on me, caused me serious angst.
I just heard yesterday from my agent that "narrative tension" (the whole issue I was attempting to address in this latest revision) is still lacking. I was told the novel won't place until/unless this is resolved.
I feel sort of like crying some moments (but I won't) or even, at other moments, tearing my hair out.
I am an award-winning writer. I have my MFA from a prestigious writing program. And I can't see narrative tension (the lack of it, at least) in my own work.
Am I too close to the work? Isn't this what editors do (or did)?
I know my writing is good (the novel, I mean--not necessarily every quickly-dashed-off blog post). I don't mean to be egotistical, but I also know it's better than a lot of YA I read (and I read as much as I can).
So what's the deal? What do I do now? What can I do except get back to work and slog through it again?
I have asked friends to read and comment for me. No one has time. Hmmmm.
Trust is something I need to have at this point, I think. I need to trust that it's ok that I am not done yet. Maybe publishing is just still really difficult and slow. Maybe the next draft (ugggghhh) will bring me even closer to fine (and fini).
I need to trust that it will all work out--and relatively soon.
Time should be essentially meaningless, and yet, I am always, always worried about time.
I may be a late blooomer, and I have come to terms with that. But when everyone else in the world--it seems--has a book out, I want mine to come out, too.
Back to work...
I keep muttering to myself, "This is the last novel...."
Do I mean it?
Time (hah!) will tell.