My college friend Kelly really lifted my spirits today by sending an email which included this bit:

Wow – your draft 3 already looks really tight – way more readable than 90% of the crap I pull off the shelves at Barnes & Noble.

This was really nice to hear, because I’ve been feeling that the novel is as far away from a finished product as I ever have.

Two things are going one:

1) I’m reading the About Writing by Samuel Delany, and he makes it clear that every single word choice has a result, and you need to pick the very best ones. UGH! Such a high standard.


2) I’m having a big email back-and-forth with d-day, and she tells me that my characters are mostly blank faces who just exist to move the plot forward. None have reasons for existing. She’s 80% right. So I’m trying to dive deep and really turn them into real people.

In short, I feel like the novel is a piece of crap and there’s another 1,000 to 2,000 hours to get it into halfway decent shape, and it’s really nice to have Kelly tell me that it’s already sort of acceptable.

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