Next Steps

The working rough draft is complete, in all its messy glory. Lavish praise upon me, oh ye denizens of the internet! Feed the narcissist!

So what does this mean?

Well, now I need to go back into each chapter and incorporate all my notes and changes from the past year-and-a-half to create a seamless narrative. The story has grown in the telling. And I’ve grown as a writer.

When that’s done, I’ll have a shitty first draft, which I shall impose upon my helpless alpha readers (pretty much just family). Yes, they’re woefully biased, but at least they’ll be able to tell me if I have something here. Something worth telling.

If so, I’ll revise again, incorporate their criticisms, and produce a second draft to inflict upon my beta readers. They’re the ones I hope will rip my story apart and tell me when it’s boring, or confusing, or full of suck.

After all that, if the beta readers still feel there’s something worthy in my words, then perhaps I’ll pursue publication. But it’s not my primary goal.

I won’t lie, publication would be nice (don’t we all desire a taste of immortality?), but I’m no longer sure it’s something I want. I want to write. And though I say this partly to insulate myself against the fear that my work falls far short of good, or even marketable, at the end of the day, writing helps me understand the world better. It’s a lens through which I catch a glimpse of truth.

I’m writing a story I would want to read. And if, by some great chance, others want to read it as well, and my story allows them to escape the confines of this world—for even the briefest moment—and fall into a land of mystery and wonder, then I will have accomplished far more than I originally intended.