Anonymous said: How do I write my novel the best it can be? I am afraid that it isn't good enough, how will I know if it is ?
You’ll never know if your own work is any good, much less its best. I don’t even know. Anyone who does know is probably full of crap.
I may be full of crap then, but putting aside all modesty I think it’s perfectly possible to know when your novel is as good as it can get. You’ll still be afraid it’s not good or not good enough, but there comes a point where you look over it and just don’t find anything you want to be better. We all have those moments when we read bits of our writing and think, “Damn that’s actually some good stuff.” If you write and rewrite long enough, you can get to a point where you find yourself thinking that on almost every page, if not for every paragraph.
You may look over it a year later and think it’s crap, but it’s not irrational to write in hopes of one day getting that perfect reread where everything comes together and you know it’s time to send it out. Writing for me is 90% re-reading and fixing. I can honestly say Valhalla and Ragnarök both had their graduation days when I could read them and think, “I’ve nailed it.” That’s when I set them aside and move on to the next.
Of course, this feeling is illusory. Neither was finished, both went through rounds and rounds of editing and repair and got better and better, until the editing process reached this same place and it seemed like there was nothing more to be done. Where the remaining reservations are so subjective that they’re not worth changing. A greater version of the feeling where you’re first proud enough of it to show to other people. It takes a hundred revisions but the feeling finally comes that your work is done and it’s time to let the novel sink or swim, and you know it will swim.
Said the guy who took about 18 years to finish Ragnarök and still has yet to finalize Book 3. Ragnarök only finished editing this week but I can honestly say when we dotted the last “i” that this book is the best it can be, that it’s good enough, and I just plain know it. Maybe it’s delusion, maybe I’m fooling myself, but I think I’ve written a damn good book and I’m finally proud to share it with the world.
Pre-orders should be open around Halloween :)