You know that episode of Grey's Anatomy when the writer eats his manuscript? He worked on it for TEN years and decided it was crap. The only place he felt that it belonged was a in a big pile of poo. Literally. So he ate it.
The manuscript never, er, passed. It got stuck inside of him and even after the doctors surgically removed the baseball-sized mass, the paper gave him mercury poisoning.
I think I know how that guy feels.
Today at WIFYR, I had my manuscript critiqued in front 15 peer writers. The group is made up of varying levels of advanced, but not yet highly successful writers (I cannot even begin to guess where I am on the awesome writer scale, but I suspect...very low.) + our VERY SUCCESSFUL teacher. As a whole, they are extremely cool and knowledgeable. They gave me a lot to think about, excellent feedback, and a clear direction to go at this point. I am hopeful that I will be able to make these changes and graduate into a class of writer that I aspire to.
However, after looking at all of their comments and listening to their suggestions, I am overwhelmed. There is so much to do.
Revise the diction.
Tighten the VP.
Cut the prologue.
Add more characterization.
Make it more suspenseful.
Cut the adjectives.
Cut the adverbs.
Change the taglines.
Don't get me wrong, the advice is STELLAR. I plan on using it all. I know it will better my manuscript, but...will I ever be able to do it all? Will it be enough?
I guess I'm pretty insecure about my words when it comes down to it, and that makes me wanna get a chiropractic alignment, lay down, and binge eat custard-filled donuts until I'm diabetic.
But like our teacher, Carol Lynch Williams, says, "if you never submit, you'll never get published". And so here I am, pushing forward when my future is as hopeful and terrifying as a blank page.
But the thing is, even though I came home feeling stressed about all the work, I found myself at my computer a few hours later...
[Stay tuned for what I learned about first lines and how Matt Kirby and I are BFFs now.]