Day 22

Though I had good intentions, today’s editing plans took a turn in a completely different direction. Even though in my gut I had a feeling my novel, Bethel Christmas Visitor, was going to go need some major changes, I have been trying to edit it as is.

I hit the brick wall that is doubt on Sunday, after spending Saturday night reading through the whole manuscript. Would a publisher be interested in this story? A story where a strange man drops in to town and convinces some of the people in town that he must be Jesus returned. Written for the Christian market, I began to wonder if  this story would go against the particular guidelines of the genre.

On top of that, there’s the cast of characters. Though there is one main character who the stranger comes to stay with, my book is written in the style of a series similiar to Debbie Macomber’s Blossom Street Books (a favorite of mine). It’s a rather large cast and each chapter focuses on two or three characters at a time. I love women’s fiction and this was my intention with this story. I love the inspirational market and this was my goal as well. To write an inspirational story for the women’s fiction market.

Do I need to cut characters? Will the Christian market be receptive to the idea? Maybe I should cut that character out of the story completely and rebuild a story without him? Of course this would change the story but I love the town and characters that I’ve created. I could focus on the stories of the other characters.  All of these changes would call for a complete rewrite. Do I want to rewrite the story or should I just stick to it as is, a story that I’ve loved from day one? Every time I pull that story up I still get that tingling feeling I got as I wrote it, my hands flying across the keyboard most days.

Unfortunately, I tend to over-analyze everything I do. So I’m going to ask my writing friends and followers for their advice.

What would you do if you were facing this dilemma? And what do you do when you smack into doubt head first?

Share your thoughts! I’ll be back tomorrow and who knows? Maybe I’ll wake up in the morning with an answer myself!

Chris

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Day 22

  1. Larissa Lyons

    What a timely post as I’ve been “smacking” straight into doubt the past couple of weeks. I’ve learned to focus on craft, study and engage my left brain away from my manuscript while letting the story and characters percolate in the back of my mind, and eventually one of two things occurs: 1) I either have an epiphany on how to address what’s bothering me with the story or 2) another story sucks me in instead, which grants me even more time away from the problematic or perplexing one, so that by the time I return to it, not only do I look at it with fresh eyes, in the interim, I’ve matured and grown as a writer and am able to approach it differently.

    My suggestion to you? Go with your gut. If you positively adore the story you have on the page, stick with that. On the other hand, keep in mind that while composing your first story as a fiction novelist you are still developing your particular “voice”. Given that, initial stories often need significant rewriting in order to come up to the maturity an author develops with practice.

  2. Hey Larissa! So glad you took the time to stop by and share your wisdom. I’ve slept on it and still no light has switched on! I’ve decided to leave it as is, edit it to the best it can be and see if there’s an interest in it. If not, I just may leave it be and continue on with other projects. Though I’ve put so much time in to it, and love this story, perhaps it’s meant to be more of a training ground than a published work. At least for now 😀
    How’s things going on your end?

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