Funny thing about good feedback, it’s always naggingly similar to what you were already worried about. Okay, well, good feedback is, but not so good feedback lights up the OMG CRAZY alert. So I have this manuscript… Oh, you’ve heard this one before?
And you’ve heard how the intrepid writer says “Krakatoa! How could I have not seen that flaw in my manuscript before????!!!”
Right, well, I’m not here to talk about that, because it’s pretty simple: Either you’ve felt that way, or you haven’t been letting other people read your manuscripts long enough to have had it. I’m not dissing the young writers out there, I’m just letting y’all know about an experience that’s coming your way, whether you’ve just finished your first or your tenth novel, whether you’re unpublished or a NYT bestseller, you are going to have this experience. If you haven't had this feeling, make a note in your calender: it's coming.
Today I’m going to talk about courage.
I don’t have much. In fact, I’ve called myself a coward before (you can read about it here) and I have to say, I haven’t had a single experience to convince me that I qualify for any courage medals. So imagine my surprise when I realized that what I needed to make a particular change in my manuscript was courage.
Yeah, heavy. I had something that was a crutch. It was something that would come out in the first ten pages or so, but I’d stated it—bold as moonlight—in the very first paragraph. The concern: cut it and I’d have readers who didn’t have a clue about what was going on. Keep it, and I’d have every lit. agent rolling their eyes at the demi prologue.
It was when I realized I was using it as a crutch to kick my readers in the gut that I knew it was time to cut it. Sigh, so I took the plunge, held my nose and cut.
So, have you needed to be courageous lately?