Posted by Lisa
The first fifty pages are strong. I think they are, anyways.
I've poured my literary soul into them, not to mention those early morning hours, late night hours, and recent sessions at my local bookstore cafe.
Lynne, Hannah, and Amy, it's up to you soon, to critique my YA novel, book number two, as it's close to being finished. My characters, sigh, have lived out their story. Turns out this final product, its plot and characters, are nothing as it started. But a novel evolves, doesn't it?
But there is one caveat...I never know, for sure, when it's done.
Heidi Pitlor, a brilliant editor, and lovely writer, spoke two years ago at Grub Street's Muse & the Marketplace. When writing her novel, The Birthdays, she said it was her husband who told her it was done. She'd been editing and editing, and editing some more. When he voiced his suggestion, she agreed, he was right. Her novel was done, and off it went to her editor.
I won't rely on my husband, I don't think. But I do question, at times, at the start, at the finish of writing sessions, if I'm on the right track. Should a particular sub-plot be expanded? Should another be eliminated? Is there too much weather (cold and icy snow in my New Hampshire setting) and not enough details about physical surroundings (buildings, objects, characters' possessions)?
It's hard to know since the is no right and wrong. But there is good and bad, and very good and very bad. Sometimes, it's hard to know.