I’ve been having a lot of doubts about my current WIP (work-in-progress). Whether it’s wondering why beta readers haven’t gotten back to me (They hate it and are too nice to say so! – Quiet, brain.), finding another crappy sentence after SO many FREAKING edits, or just looking at a calendar that now has a potential release date on it – my doubts are crawling up my spine like vines and choking all the fun out of this.
So, during a session of deep breathing and self-pep-talk, I realized a truth of art. Something has to be first.
I’ve said a million times, “Tara, this novel is too complicated for a first book.” It is complicated. It’s over 107,000 words. There are five POVs (points-of-view), there are over a dozen characters to keep track of, lots of settings, and subplots coming out the wazoo. So many times, and never more than now, I’ve wondered if I should shelve it. I’ve considered putting it aside, writing one of many less complicated novels I have on the backburners, and coming back to The Scarring Underneath when I have more experience.
After all, I love Cass & Billy. I wish Drew was my best friend. My daughter could very well grow into Lena, and I can understand why Derrick became who he is. I love all my secondary characters, too. I want to do them justice!
But, I see what will happen if I shelve this…
A year – year and a half, from now – I’ll be deep breathing and self-pep-talking, because I don’t want to let my new characters down. I’ll realize that the simple plot wasn’t simple at all – just complicated in a different way – and I’ll wonder if I should shelve it and come back when I have more experience.
Something has to be first. I’ve realized that I’ll always wish I could go back in time and redo an older piece with new knowledge I’ve acquired. But, that’s not how it works. The only way to get the experience is to read the books, write the books, get the reviews, and repeat.
This is not the first book I’ve written. I’ve been writing short stories my whole life. I started my first novel in middle school. I wrote two books before this one that will probably never be published. Hell, I wrote this one twice. (Three or four times if you include all the edits and revamping.)
The fact is, I chose to take this one to the finish line because I’ve never been this passionate about a story before. This is the one I wanted to write more than I wanted to procrastinate, more than I wanted to sleep, more than I wanted to do a million other more “fun” things. This is the one I want to share.
So, this is the first. The Scarring Underneath – coming 2017.