11 Fears of a Debut Author

I was supposed to be done on the 4th. Well, I reached the last chapter on the 4th, and actually managed to finish it by ten forty-five pm. But, I had neither a prologue nor an epilogue.

I have written an epilogue now, though. And, if you are reading this on my site then you will notice the milestone widget saying “The Big Day is here!” on my sidebar. I’ll probably take it down tomorrow or the day after. The prologue felt too off, so I ditched it. Now, just a few hours ago, actually, I had some terrifying realizations. And I want to share them, in hopes that they will subside somewhat.

Here they are.

1. It hurts to find what you already knew.

It ends. You could’ve made it longer, in fact you tried, but it just doesn’t happen. And you finally have to let it go. You can’t keep it going forever.

2. It doesn’t always end the way you first thought it would.

Anne Lamott said in Bird By Bird that the writer bears the lantern and  he only knows as much as the digger digs out of the sand. Till the moment something is dug out, the writer has no idea what it was going to be. Can’t remember the exact words.

“E.L. Doctorow said once said that ‘Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.'”

3. Sometimes you end up writing out of character, but that’s okay, you can always fix it later.

Lamott also said, “…don’t pretend you know more about your characters than they do, because you don’t. Stay open to them. It’s teatime and all the dolls are at the table. Listen. Its that simple.” Yeah, so, I’m not very sure about this one.

4. You either have to make a the second draft 20% shorter on terms of number of words, or make a second second draft.

Its common sense that you omit things in the second draft, right. I feel like I’ve left so many things out that I’ll probably need three second drafts. Oh well. SO much for simplicity.

5. Its your debut novel. You don’t have an editor, you don’t have an agent, chances are it’ll never make it.

This is one of the scariest. I wrote. And that’s pretty much all I can do. I can fix some plot holes and maybe even get someone read it and tell me which parts are relevant and which parts are not. But, there will remain a voice at the back of my head telling me that if I had gotten an editor it could’ve turned out way better. And if I had an agent then I’d probably be selling millions by now. Okay, no, that’s an exaggeration. But you get the idea.

6. Here’s the hard part. You  have to think up something new and keep the business running, or you’re going to end up in the bottom.

You’ve lived with them for so long, lived their lives, been a part of their adventures. It’s hard to just forget. Now I know how sequels come along.

7. Chances are, when you go back to do some fixing you’ll find that nothing makes sense.

Won’t say anything about this. If I do THIS will end up making no sense.

8. Your friends will either find it stupid, or equate it to some real life incident.

They’re already scoffing at the plot.

9. It feels the way it does when you finish a good book. Everyone is going o with there lives, as if you did not just suffer trauma at the hands of your own work.

Speaks for itself now doesn’t it.

10. There is a bunch of stuff you have to do but you can’t concentrate on anything.

Self explanatory.

11. Everything feels pointless, but you have to go on.

Happening right now.

If anyone has something to console me with, please do so in the comments. I am in serious need of some virtual hugs.

11 thoughts on “11 Fears of a Debut Author”

  1. Congratulations! Personally, I love a long series with sequels and other series that interweaves with the main or original one. That way the rich and intricate universe that you have been living in as a reader does not end. So maybe that pain of ending can be the pain of birth — birth of new stories and places to tell the parts that didn’t fit this first novel.


  2. This one is interesting! I recently finished jotting down ideas for an entire novel in about 3000 words. Half the way I started reading Lahiri’s In Other Words, and my whole perspective changed. The idea to write the book came from a personal experience, but reading Lahiri the idea felt shallow, materialistic.

    I’m glad I finished it, though, without distracting myself. I have taken up too many projects which were led midway as they felt immature after sometime. I don’t know if I am going to pick up that novel idea anytime soon, but I feel good that the idea has been captured in Word doc. Much relieved!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you. On good, inspirational days I am buzzing with ideas on ten different novels at once! And then I’m wondering if I should try poetry, or if I should give non-fiction a shot. I have at least ten scenes written for all the different novels, but I honestly don’t know which one to pick up, or which way any of them are going to go. And then there’s the one I finished writing last year. It just looks so superstitious right now. *sigh*

      Liked by 1 person

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