Tag Archives: Flame

The Novelist’s Burden

novelistFeedback from my alpha readers is compiling for FRAGILE GODS, and the results are more positive than I could possibly have hoped.

Most (all?) believe that this is, hands down, my best work. Not only that, but I have been told by some already in the middle of best-selling fantasy novels by established authors that they would rather be reading FRAGILE GODS.

I cannot speak for the veracity of this claim; obviously my friends and family are prone to view my work more charitably than total strangers. But they are not flatterers, and more to the point, although I’ve been sharing my writing for years, I have never before heard this particular compliment.

This encouragement has served to fuel the flame and drive me to work even harder on this developing story — which is precisely why this website was created. I can’t tell you how refreshed I am.

The problem is that when I’m asked to share another chapter, I desperately want to. As a neurotic writer, I crave the approval of my readers, and to know that for once they are truly enjoying a story of mine with something like the same zeal and abandon with which I digest my favorite writers is like a drug. I want more. To get more, I have to hand out more prose.

But writing is tedious, particularly novel writing. It isn’t even just a matter of prose at the keyboard; there’s outlining that has to be done. There’s research to be conducted. Worst of all, there’s revisions. And revisions, and revisions.

This means that any scene I finish isn’t finished yet. Those of you who read the first preview for scenes 1 & 2 and then experienced the revised version know how much more polished it is. That revision, by the way, represents four or five different intermediate versions — not just a single edit.

About every three days, I finish a scene I’m dying to share. I want to print it out and hand it out immediately. But I know I’ll be doing myself and you a disservice, because in a few weeks I’ll have added so much more to the scene that the previous version might as well be in black and white.

More than that, I’m dying to tell you what happens, or drop hints as to what happens ahead in the story. But I can’t. I have to keep it all in.

Most frustrating of all, the completed work, the whole story, still only exists in my head. Even if I were impatient enough to print you everything I’d written to date, even if you gobbled it up, loved it, and begged for more, neither of us would be satisfied, because the story still isn’t complete.

I tell you, it’s a hard-knock life.