Saturday, February 18, 2006

Book Anxiety

The supposed winter storm is currently somewhat less than promised. My meeting this morning was cancelled last night, just in case. Unfortunately, I still woke up at about the same time my alarm would have gone off. I probably wouldn't have gone, anyway, if I wasn't sure about the road conditions, but at least this way I didn't have to go through the routine of whimpering, hitting snooze a few times, and then finally dragging myself out of bed to look out then window and then make a judgment call. Instead, I just rolled over and went back to sleep. The roads are clear, but my newspaper was covered with sleet, so it would have been hard to tell if the roads would have still been clear when it was time to come home. Plus, to get to the meeting I would have had to go on a very, very high overpass, the highest in the entire area. It remains to be seen if I'm going to have to cancel my plans for tonight. I may cancel, regardless, because I really don't want to go out.

As for the "this book sucks" phase, I really do go through it at some point with every book. Enchanted, Inc. was the only one where I don't recall hating it deeply, which was probably because when I wrote it, I didn't think anyone other than Mom and Rosa would ever read it. I had no expectations and no pressure. I do think I had a moment of "there's nothing really to it!" panic right after sending the first couple of chapters to an agent. I went through most of the "this book sucks" phase in the weeks before reviews started to come in.

Most writers I've talked to have gone through the same thing with almost every book. I think it's mostly because once you get it actually written, you realize how far the written version is from that perfect book that was in your head. I've used the analogy before, but it really is like seeing a movie version of a favorite book, and even if it's one of the rare good adaptations, it's different from what you saw in your head when you read the book, and that takes getting used to. Your first impression is often that it's so very wrong just because it's not your own mental movie.

As I got closer to the ending in re-reading last night, I started liking the book a lot better. I don't know if that was because I was used to it by then or if the ending just rocks (I still need to do some rewriting on the very end). I may need to amp up some stuff at the beginning, but that's where my agent is so helpful. She's great about helping me take a good book and find ways to make it better.

Now I think it's time for tea and catching up on Battlestar Galactica discussion (awesome episode last night), then fixing those parts of the book that I know need adjusting so I can get it to my agent Monday.

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