As I grind through the edit of Shadow Watch, I’ve learned something. I have learned that the more you write, the better you write.
Shadow Watch was born in 2008. That was when I did the first draft during the NaNoWriMo of that year. I would go back to it periodically and poke at it, but never the concentrated effort I’m putting into it now. No, I would take it out, read it and then put it back in the ‘drawer’ with a sigh of “Someday”.
What held me back? Fear. Fear that no one would like it. Fear that I couldn’t write. Fear of rejection. Then, in 2014, despite my fear (we’re talking gut twisting terror) I handed the first chapter to my writing critique group. I received four sets of comments.
They eviscerated my baby. Then they demanded chapter 2.
The evisceration continued. Chapter after chapter. Notes, notes and more notes. Comments and suggestions until they reached the end of the book.
They handed me bandages for the bleeding corpse that was my book and asked one more question.
Are you going to publish?
My first reaction was: Why would I want to do that? After all the notes and critiques?
Then I thought about it.
Yes, they pointed out everything that didn’t make sense, or was inconsistent. They drove semi-trucks through the gaping plot holes.
But they read it. Every single chapter from the beginning to the very end. Then they asked if there was another book in the series.
The lesson from those 30-plus weeks of critiques? I have a solid story. I am an author.
So I better publish the dang thing.