It’s Rough, Baby

Okay, it’s done.  The official first draft of my novel, Hell Incorporated, is done.  Several months of obsession are over, and I have a solid manuscript for my very first novel.

Now sure, it’s rough.  And I mean ROUGH.  The grammar trips all over itself, there are still several visible seams from the various splices I made, and I’m not sure the plot itself will make sense to anyone other than me. 

But I don’t even mean “rough” in that manner, so much as it’s dark, dirty and, basically, crass.  We’ll have to see what people with decent sensibilities (okay, any sensibilities) think about it.  But more on that shortly.

Okay, it is just shy of 60,000 words, which is the definition of a novel by most accounts.  Sure, some say 45,000 words or 50,000 words are enough to make it a novel, but that’s usually for the science fiction genre, which this book does not quite make.  But it’s certainly no novella – none of the definitions there go beyond 45,000 for novellas, so at worst, I’ll be thinking of this as a short novel.

Some of you may have seen the bulk of this already – I did share early drafts with a good number of you.  Not TOO much has changed since those earlier versions, but I think the little bits I have done should make quite a bit of difference.  I might have rushed the ending a little too, but I’m sure I’ll be tweaking the darned thing for a little while yet.

I just haven’t gotten the feedback I had hoped for.  That’s not to say that I got negative feedback – quite the opposite.  I got no feedback whatsoever. 

The few people who’ve actually read it through seem to pause and think very hard before offering something non-committal, like “it wasn’t what I had expected from you”.  I’m completely unsure how to take that, and really hoping for some more professional advice on the matter.  Several others have said that they haven’t (couldn’t???) gotten past the first chapter.  I think I have fixed some of that issue, but we’ll just have to see.

A family member has an in with a literary agent – she usually handles non-fiction stuff, but if I can at least get a reading it would be something.  I could also self-publish – I’d rather go the traditional route, of course, but I did look up some of those options and, particularly for e-books, it does seem a very viable way to go.  But there’s no rush here.

But despite whatever flaws the book may (and does) have, I feel great.  I set out to do something and I completed it.  For better or worse, I have actually written a novel.  Good for me!

I hope you’ll all be seeing my new novel on the shelves, virtually or otherwise, in the near future.  But in the meantime I’m very satisfied with what I have created all by myself, with my own two hands and my own nutty brain.

It doesn’t get much better than that.


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