Lately, Team Trian has been working madly on Solus , (hence the blog silence, sorry about that, in case someone reads this stuff, hah), and for a few sweet hours, we thought that thing was ready for submission.
It’s not. It’s really not. And this must be the 11th draft! We are starting to wonder whether it’s us, whether we just suck so badly that we can’t get it done or whether it is actually normal for a novel to take years and a gazillion drafts to be finished.
Our main problem is the length. We have to cut it down to, say, at least 180k. Space operas can be quite long, even those by new writers, and it seems we won’t be able to cut it any shorter than that.
Second problem is the amount of telling. Truth is, the prose is stronger and more effective when we show instead of right-out tell (we aren’t slaves to this “rule,” but it’s got a point!), and it’s a slow process to find the best way to convey Thing X in the most effective possible way.
Third problem is, how to put it delicately, some major new-writer rule-breakage. Italics for thoughts? Check (though way, way, way less than there used to be). Names for chapters? Check. Oh and the length, that’s a problem too, probably the biggest one, but it seems we’re going to have to live with all these “faults,” and hope that someone somewhere some day saw something potential in this manuscript… or else it’s self-pubbing for us.
Then there’s the technical side: formatting and grammar. Are the commas in the right place? Have we remembered every hashtag? Do we capitalize foreign words that would be capitalized in English but not in the other language?
How have you, dear published writers, jumped over these hurdles? Or perhaps you ram right through? When do you let go of your baby? How many drafts does it take? How high have you set up the bar and how much do you forgive yourselves?
We’ll be pondering this tonight while kicking some ass (read: have our asses kicked) in Medieval fencing and wrestling class and modern boxing class (yay for shitty time management and over-ambitious scheduling!).
Peace out and shoulder-punches all ’round!