I think I mentioned at some point that the reason I was rewriting that novel (the one where I had trouble writing the sexy character because I don’t know how to be sexy) was that I won Nano 2011, and one of the prizes – supposedly – was five free paperback copies of my manuscript.
(I originally was going to rewrite my 2011 Nano, since it was the winning Nano, but I had no clear plot once the main character got to Africa halfway through the book and I decided that rewriting my 2010 Nano would be easier. The point was to rewrite it to the point where I wouldn’t be completely embarrassed to have people read it, although that was sort of a fail because there are sooooo many problems with the second draft. Like, just as many as with the first draft. I actually depressed myself out of writing for a few days because I started a “problems” outline when I got stuck, and it was two pages long, and I was only something like halfway through the story.)
But sadly, when I went to finally submit it on June 30th, I discovered that the winners’ password only gave me a promo-code. I had to first place an order with this self-publishing company, and then enter the promo-code (after my book was approved for sale and distribution) to get five free copies…after spending a bunch of money. Which I do not have, and, hey, my book is NOWHERE NEAR ready for sale and distribution.
My initial reaction, of course, was:
Great! So I just drove myself crazy for a month trying to get this done for NO REASON?
Which was exactly what my boyfriend said to me when I told him how things really were. “You just drove yourself crazy for a month for no reason?”
Admittedly, that’s basically how he feels about me doing Nanowrimo, too – when I’m going on crying jags because I’m 6000 words behind and have homework to do and no money and no time to do other fun things or hang out with him, and he asks, “Why do you do this to yourself???” and I scream, “BECAUSE I LOVE IT!”
But at least with Nano you have a sort of competitive edge. You’re trying to do something a relatively small number of people ever try and an even smaller number succeeds in. You’re going for the goal of having a completed draft of a novel – I didn’t win my first year (2010) because the story didn’t have enough juice to get to 50,000 words, but I actually completed it, which was a huge accomplishment for me – and there’s a sort of glory in it, too.
Whereas with this, it was like…
Great. The goal I was working toward turned out to not be that goal at all but instead something that I don’t want and can’t have anyway.
But before I could start feeling too regretful and pathetically self-pitying, I thought…
Hey. I now have a completed second draft of a story, the first second draft I have ever completed. This story is now officially the closest to a published novel I have, because it not only made it through a first draft, but also a second draft. Now I can figure out what problems exist and work on ways to fix them before writing a third draft.
(That draft will probably be my 2012 Nano.)
Plus I have all sorts of awesome new ideas for the directions this story will go, which includes setting it up to lead into a sequel so that it is now going to be a trilogy rather than a single book.
So although I’m still a little sad that I do not yet get to see my manuscript in print of any sort other than the printed-on-my-boyfriend’s-printer-a-chapter-at-a-time-over-a-period-of-several-weeks kind, I’m pretty proud of myself for having a second-draft novel complete.
Even if it still sort of sucks.