Squee! Hooray and all that good stuff! The first draft of my manuscript is completed.
This is not to say that I'm done. I am certainly not done. I'm sad to admit that this story contains such witticisms as, "Insert description here." There is much work that remains before it is something that other people will want to read. But the basic skeleton is there. I'm happy with that for today.
Now that the bones are there, I'm forced to face the treacherous path ahead.
*Insert menacing backtrack here*
I confess, this is the roughest rough draft I've ever written. I think I knew that as I was writing, but I just kept going. Now, though, I'm scared of just HOW much work is left. I wouldn't be surprised if I'm messing with these revisions into the spring.
This is my third completed manuscript. I've learned a lot about writing since I first set out to write a novel a few years ago but the biggest thing I've learned is that revision is the KEY. Oh writing the story is important. Getting it all out. But most of the "writing" is actually revising. So, I do not plan to downplay the importance of this next step.
The other thing I've learned is that a romance writer can absolutely not pull their emotional punches.
What I mean is that romance is all about emotion. It's about love, after all, and love is the king of emotions. Therefore, one can not write about emotion without getting in touch with emotion.
This is hard. I have no other way to say that and, to those who write romance, this is not news. The way love is built, the way it grows, the different ways every person feels love... it's a very nuanced thing. Getting in touch with it, trying to feel through it, it's incredibly difficult, not just on an intellectual level but on a deeply personal level. It's something that makes me feel vulnerable.
But when I read romances where I feel like the characters emotions just aren't as involved as they need to be, I feel unsatisfied. Therefore, to make my characters as well-developed as I want them to be, I'm going to have to dig deep within, to my own capacity to love and be loved.
Again, this is hard and scary. Because sometimes looking at yourself is not easy.
But, dear reader, I have decided that if I want this story to be good, I need to ignore these facts.
I must Be Fearless.
I must go to those places where I've felt unsurpassed love, those vulnerable places that have been hurt, and I must tap that emotion. Because that's what I want when I read and I bet that's what other readers want when they read too.
So, to you, I leave you with this bit of advice in your writing: Be Fearless. Dig deep within, to the stuff that you hide from everyone else. Because I'd bet that's the stuff that readers really want to read.
And it's the stuff you really want to write anyway.
Happy Writing, all!!