Update Schedule

There was once an update schedule. It lived a good life, a peaceful life. A quiet life. But then... things began to change. It became more and more erratic, sometimes completely disobeying its very reason for existance. And at last, the update schedule could take no more. It cast off its chains and went free, seeking new lands where it would be appreciated. This message it left where once it had lived, to warn other schedules of the peril.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Just sitting here watching my word count dwindle away...

I thought I was ready. I was up to 73,000- surely I could edit and still have a good 65,000 or so left, right? The rest of the book would give me another 20,000, I was sure. Everything would turn out just fine. The word loss was worth it to fix the plot issues.
But... I'm only on page 30 or so, and I'm already down 3,000 words or so. If that keeps up, I'm going to lose maybe 20,000 (according to my bad calculations) words before I'm done. And that's a really terrifying number after I spent so long to get up to this amount, and when I'm not sure I have more than that in the part I haven't written yet.
It needs to be done. I can't deny that. Those words need to go. I knew that when I made the decision to cut characters or change the plot. But I didn't realize just how deeply it went. I thought I was almost done with what might concievably be a first draft, and now I'm seeing it all just vanish. And what little I can add in isn't even making a dent. I've just barely managed to keep it up to 70,000. I can't keep writing until I've fixed things or I'll just have to change that too because I don't have a clear idea of what's going to happen and which characters actually exist.
This is already draft 2. The first one I actually finished, and it was about 42,000 words (although I've just discovered I may only have the first 500 words or so... which is really not good, since it's probably my biggest accomplishment so far. If I lost it, that's years worth of effort just gone). I made the decision to rewrite it without using any of the original draft, because I thought the basic idea was salvageable. I never dreamed that my fantasy novel would turn into a weird government conspiracy theory sci-fi novel. And, to be honest, I am less than thrilled about these changes... but I've come too far to turn back now.
I looked at the original and the rewrite, and things have changed so much. The original first line was "Adam tightened his grip on the hilt of his sword as he stared down at the cave entrance." The new one is "This is the day when we achieve something that scientists have dreamed of for centuries."  Things have changed so much, and what if it's not for the better? How can I make it readable if I can't even make the first line something I don't wince at when I see it?
Maybe it's just the stress of editing and the fear that when I'm done I'll have nothing left, but I kind of feel that maybe it wasn't salvageable. Maybe the plot was worthless in the first place, and everything I did to it just made it worse. I thought I was fixing things, making everything made sense, but what if I just made it all ridiculous? What if the writing is just bad instead of simply in need of editing and polishing? What if I've done all of this for nothing, because no one will ever want to read it or enjoy it if they do?
I've lost track of which day of editing this is, but my motivation is getting dangerously low. I need to regain faith in my novel somehow, but I don't know how to do it. I want this to work. I want to finish it, and I want to edit it, and I want to publish it. I want people to read it, and I want them to love it.
But I can't stop thinking: what if they don't?
And every time I change the cover to show a lower word count, the doubts grow. I'm no longer sure I can get through this, and I've just barely started.
If anyone has any advice for getting through editing/finishing, I'd really appreciate it.


On a happier note, my Queen of the Tearling review seems to have been quite popular. I just wanted to thank all of my readers (who apparently exist). Watching the view count go up every time I allowed myself a break was the bright spot in deleting those 3,000 words.
Also, I'd like to thank everyone who failed to support me in my writing of the first draft. Perhaps it's for the best if I lost it, considering the state of those first 500 words.

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