Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Second Novel

So, as I continue to work on this second novel, I'm very frustrated at my emotions doing what my rational mind dictates they shouldn't. My first novel sold to a little niche market press. It's a wonderful publisher, but they don't sell through Amazon; their books do not cross over into the main stream at all; the stakes are low.

Therefore, reason dictates that I should not be worried about a sophomore slump. It's absurd, given only a couple of thousand people will ever see my first novel. I work hard on my writing, don't get me wrong, but I'm not going for an eight years in the making Pulitzer contender or Oprah's Book Club phenomenon. All I'm going for is consistency. Show the readers that the person who wrote book one also wrote book two, and that I write about as well . . . um, as I write.

However writing this second novel (actually my sixth, but second published, I should hope) I've stressed out and freaked out and forced myself to get those 1,000 to 16,000 words on the page each day. I've pushed past all my self set deadlines and often felt like ditching the whole project. Now, *finally*, I'm to to the point that, as I've posted before, the project's on a downhill roll. Now all I need to do is stay on board through every necessary rewrite, and there will be many.

Though I know this has been fruitless throughout this project, I am still resolved, the next one will not be this hard for these reasons. (It'll probably be harder for other reasons.)


  1. If anybody can plow through a difficult writing time, it's you! I look forward to reading the second one. =)

  2. Aw, thanks, Ling. I'm trying to get it all down on paper in the next couple of days, then begin the rewrites.

  3. Emily-
    As a young man I HATED writing, especially re-writing and editing. Then I was then cast into a job which was not only writing, but only writing and important writing, writing which had to stand the scrutiny of very critical people. Now 10-18 drafts were not unusual.

    It has to be done. Only Raymond Chandler could get it right the first time. It is kind of like the steps to making fine furniture, after the initial cutting, nailing and gluing are done. Without the sanding, staining, lacquering, polishing, it is a very different piece.

    Hurrah for getting book 1 published!

  4. Hi Gary,

    Yeah, rewrites are the part I enjoy most. It's getting that first draft down that's like pulling teeth for me. Once the project is rolling and the rough spots are obvious, it gets a lot easier to sit at the computer all day and tinker.