Lately, my husband and I have been doing a lot of remodeling to our 22 year old house. Unlike what you see on HGTV, the real thing is a huge headache. You've got to get bids, everything costs way more than you expect, and the work takes a lot longer and is a lot more messy than you expected.
Writing is like that too.
The book I'm writing now - due in a week and a day (Yikes!) sounded good in the synopsis I proposed. Full of complex emotion, my editor exclaimed. I was jazzed, ready to write it, and got started as soon as I turned in the previous book.
And I hit a snag. Untangled that, wrote more, and hit another. They began piling up on top of each other until I was buried under a tarnished pile of words and events. I sat down, tried plotting on paper (which I'm not good at) and did a total rewrite, changing out one of the major elements. After several days wasted on that, I realized the first version was the way the story was supposed to be, and went back to it. It's a painful lesson, but like tearing down and rebuilding a bathroom shower, it takes time and patience and work. Lots of work.
In a story like this, when one is trying to seamlessly weave all the various threads, I worry if there's enough romance! Enough suspense! Enough of everything. Or too much of everything. In the end, all I can do is sit my behind down and write. It's due in 8 days and I have about 100 pages to do.
When I look around my house, at the new tile, the new light fixtures and sinks and faucets, I know a visitor only sees the finished result. Not the dust and the construction crews tromping up and down the stairs. I hope my story is like that. When a reader picks it up to read, they won't see all the missteps and rewrites and worries.
What is one project you have completed that started out with a bunch of missteps? A recipe you made, something you knitted or sewed, a piece of furniture you stripped and painted? Tell me, so I won't feel so alone!