Yesterday I handed out two copies of the first third of my novel for people to read.
Except for my writing class friends, I generally don't let people outside of my immediate family read my fiction. Once I shared a story with my ex-mother-in-law. After she gave what seemed to my twenty-year-old ego as a very harsh critique, I put the manuscript in a drawer and stopped writing for fifteen years. It's still in my drawer, and I bet it kind of sucks.
It sounds crazy, but I feel very lucky I racked up my foot two years ago and started writing again. If I hadn't hurt my foot, I am certain I would have returned to some sort of normal work at least part time and wouldn't have given myself the opportunity to write.
Now that my foot is almost completely better (Yay!), I know I don't want to do anything but write. I don't want to be famous, I just want to write stories. If I should happen to get famous, I'm the kind of person that would buy a house surrounded by trees and big dogs - and hide. Fame definitely isn't my motivation. I love the act of creating something out of nothing.
Yesterday evening, I sat with my 5th grader while he was doing his homework - and I did mine.
I ripped apart a chapter in the middle third of my novel that had too much backstory. I marked paragraphs to move to new chapters and crossed out other paragraphs that I decided to delete. It wasn't easy, and I wondered if I was ruining my story by pulling it apart too much.
By the time he was done with his homework, I was ready to write.
I did it! I wrote the chapter that I've been putting off for weeks. It's a chapter where the main character hits an emotional low. By the end, I was crying with her. Once I typed the last word and wiped my tears, I immediately felt a high the equivalent of a runners high.
I'm so glad I sucked it up and wrote it. Now I can move on. The next few chapters will be much easier to write. They are funny in a dark way, funny to me at least - much easier to write than regular dark.
I'll be back when I knock out another chapter or two....I hope the writers among you are moving right along too. Have a great weekend!