Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Crowns Threnody Diaries: The Love and the Fear

If there is any downside to my enthusiasm for the story I want to tell, it's the knowledge that I'm creating this without any prior experience. This is, after all, my first novel. Some part of me is tempted to put it aside and save it for later, when I've had more practice, because the stereotype is that the first novel is never publishable. In fact, the first FIVE may not be publishable; a writer has to learn the ropes, and the only way to do that is with blood, sweat, tears, and practice.

So it is a little terrifying to consider the fact that this story has become so immensely important to me and that I'm approaching it as my first true novel. And I don't want to set it aside, because I can't know that I'd be able to return to it later with the kind of fire and passion I've had over the last few weeks. I just have to trust that even if the first draft is a failure, it's never beyond revisions and rewrites. One of my favorite fantasy novels of recent years, The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, was originally written in 2002 or 2003, and Sanderson felt he wasn't ready for that story yet. He rewrote it entirely from scratch later on and it was published in 2010. That's both worrisome and comforting, haha, but even if I have to do the same, I'm willing. Hell, if I have to write the entire series ten times over from scratch in order to create something that will make both publishers and readers sit up and take notice, I'll do it. This story is too close to my heart now for me to allow my own mortal fallibility to get in the way of telling it, haha.

That said, the large scale of Crowns Threnody does make me nervous as a first-time author. I have so much story to tell here, and I don't want to screw it up.

To be honest, the initial wave of enthusiasm has largely passed. As much as I'm excited to tell this story, there were some moments over the last couple of days where I got quite upset that I didn't feel it in the way I wanted to. I wouldn't say the bloom is off the rose, but rather that the reality of the challenge is beginning to set in. I'm trying to construct a very large-scale story here, and the breadth and depth of the world will require a great deal of work that won't always come easily, and I've hit the first real bump (of many, I'm sure).

I will, of course, press forward; I'm too serious about writing now to let myself get discouraged or turned aside by panic and insecurity, haha. I can tell that the energy is still there. It hasn't been dulled or dimmed, it's just gotten slightly buried under a big pile of real-life responsibilities and worries and some inevitable self-questioning. Digging it out every so often is, I suspect, par for the course for me. I feel I have a fair amount of confidence in myself, but I also have the self-critical curse of the creative-obsessive.

Knowing the necessity of practice can't dissuade me from this. I'm going to work on secondary projects alongside it, and I'm going to introduce daily writing exercises into the routine, but I'm going to continue pushing forward with Crowns Threnody as my primary focus.

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