No, I’m not talking about the song from Frozen, I’m talking about our stories.
I have been trying to decide what the hardest thing is about being a writer and it is really a tough choice.
There’s the dreaded synopsis, particularly hard when the publisher you are submitting to has a strict limit on length. Summing up a novel in three paragraphs is a task I would happily never take on again.
Then there’s the tag line – I either come up with something right away, or can’t think of anything at all.
Blurbs are another trial. Long or short, they are sent to plague us.
But all of the above are nothing compared to what I see as the hardest job of all.
Hitting that one little button and sending a story out into the world is the absolute worst.
The moment I hit the button the doubts hit.
- What if I missed some giant plot hole?
- What if the characters are unlikeable?
- What if the plot is boring?
- What if there’s too much head-hopping?
- What if there’s too much sex?
- What if there’s not enough sex?
- What if the publisher/editor hates it?
- What if my readers hate it?
- What if this is the worst story I have ever written?
It never gets any easier.
Shifting Currents my fourth Mermen & Magic story is the latest one I need to send to my publisher. I wrote the first draft last November for NaNoWriMo and it has been tinkered with on and off ever since.
Every time I read through one of my stories I find something I want to change. It is a never-ending cycle of self-doubt and indecisiveness.
And that is why, for me, hitting that send button and releasing my story into the world, is the hardest thing about this job.
I am hoping/intending to send Shifting Currents in today, and thus begin the long wait to hear back from my editor. If I can only force myself to let it go.
On the plus side, I at least already have a tag line (of sorts) for this particular story.
Separated by centuries, bound by love.
Delwyn and Fabian’s story is probably my favourite of the series so far, though I know I say that about each one I finish, so it doesn’t mean much. I suspect it is a book that people are either going to love or hate and there will be no in between.
Here is a tiny little teaser from the story, where Delwyn, an unashamed voyeur, has just been spying on two lovers. Obviously this is not professionally edited.
Isander rose from the bed and picked up his robe. “Come bathe with me?”
Fabian leaned up on his elbow. “You go ahead. I’ll follow in a moment.”
Isander raised an eyebrow.
“You exhausted me,” Fabian added.
Isander chuckled as he wandered from the room.
Delwyn watched him go. The view of his pert backside was as delectable as the rest of him.
“Enjoying the view?” Fabian asked.
Delwyn tore his eyes from the retreating man to glance about the room, wondering who might have entered. There was no one there. When he faced Fabian once more the man appeared to be studying him.
“Yes, I’m talking to you,” Fabian said with a laugh. “Did you enjoy the show?”
Delwyn squeaked and looked behind him. No, they were alone. But what was happening was impossible. Fabian couldn’t be speaking to him.
The moment he realised Fabian did indeed talk to him, the shock yanked him right out of his vision, plunging him back into darkness.
I hope you enjoy meeting Delwyn and Fabian. Assuming of course I can bring myself to hit that wretched SEND button some time this century.
Catch up with the rest of the Mermen & Magic series today.