This is one of those best/worst days: four, five drafts down the road, sitting down with a printed copy of the new manuscript and actually reading the damn thing.
Sure, I make notes here and there. I'm still trying to iron out the weather and make sure nobody's name changes too much, but that's all little stuff. The literary equivalent of 'mom-cleaning', the saliva-drenched thumb scrubbing vigorously across the child's face in the moments before they're turned loose.
The big stuff is Suction. Does the story draw me in? Can I forget that I wrote this story and just enjoy it? Would I feel good about buying this book? Does this story make me a fan?
You see, I'm my hardest reader. I always see something I might have done differently, maybe a little better. Same with paintings, drawing, everything. Sooner or later you have to let go and move on, but the urge remains. And the urge is to fix those 'horrible' mistakes.
So far, this one is pretty promising. I keep finding myself worried less about my own techniques and more about what's going on with these people, all of them on the cusp of the worst day of their lives.
But rest assured, there's still plenty of technique to worry about...
Little more on that next time!
PS. As always, I have that odd sense of amused wonder: I *know* there were days I HATED writing and was sure I sucked. And days where I LOVED writing and was sure I ROCKED. But reading through the manuscript. I can't find those spots!
Feelings about work are impostors. The work itself is true.