I’ve got good instincts, so when my first professional(ish) critique on the first chapter of the novel came back yesterday, I knew what it was going to say: There are too many characters introduced in the beginning, the toggling back and forth in time needs to be rearranged, and my point of view needs to be better defined. None of her remarks were a surprise, but my foreknowledge did not prevent the twinge of discouragement. Even with comments like, “Wonderful!” and “Well done!” and “Nice Southern dialogue here!” I still shrank in my seat knowing this long hard road is still going to be long and hard.
My skin is not nearly thick enough for this business, but I’ve yet to be deterred. I’m anticipating a wall of rejection letters and preparing for the possibility that this novel may never leave my computer.
STILL. I will press on and commence the bloody execution* of editing with the hope that this wasn’t all for nothing.
*Thomas Wolfe, The Story of a Novel (1935) – “A thing may in itself be the finest piece of writing one has ever done, and yet have absolutely no place in the manuscript one hopes to publish. That is a hard thing, but it must be faced, and so we faced it… My spirit quivered at the bloody execution.”