That Novel Will Never Be Perfect
From Katie Hayoz
I’m not a perfectionist. Little mistakes don’t bother me. But when it comes to my writing, I take pride in what I do and I want what I put out there to be not just decent, but good. I rewrote Untethered at least eighteen times. Literally. And I’m talking full-on, rip-it-up and make do with the shreds kind of rewriting, not moving sentences around. What started as a five page story ended up (20 years later) to be a 340 page novel. That novel went through so many critiquing sessions and beta readers that I was sure it would be perfection by the time it was published.
Ha. Not quite.
Writing is art, and like all art there is a point where the person creating the work just has to stop. She just has to tell herself that particular piece is the best she can make it right then. That’s the sticker: right then. Because the truth is that you can always go back and make it better. There will always be holes you missed or mistakes you made or words that paint a clearer picture. But if you keep going back and going back and going back you never move on. Never get on to the next book; the one that first one prepared you for.
My dad paints watercolor. I can’t tell you the number of times he’s looked at a picture of his, already framed and on the wall, and said, “Why did I think this was finished? This whole section could use reworking.” My mom rolls her eyes. I understand. I totally do.
But there was a point when I just had to quit trying to make Untethered perfect. A point where my writing group and my family and friends said, “Stop already!” So I did. I’m proud of this novel -- the characters, the world, the writing itself. However, that didn’t keep me from face-palming myself after its publication. There were things that I see now that I couldn’t see then. It kills me. And yet…
And yet I could go in, change it all and six months from now I’d be face-palming myself again. So, I’ve left it as is. I’ve moved onto another novel. It’s finished; sort of. I’ve done three drafts – three pick away the fleshy parts and gnaw on the bone drafts. I’ll rewrite it one more time. Then I’ll need to tell myself, “Stop already! That novel will never be perfect.”
But I’m hoping it will be damn good.
*Katie Hayoz was born in Racine, WI, USA but ended up in Geneva, Switzerland, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and two fuzzy cats. She devours YA novels like she does popcorn and black licorice: quickly and in large quantities.
Untethered is a paranormal coming of age novel that follows 16-year-old Sylvie on a unique and slightly sinister journey of self-acceptance. Sylvie has an ability to leave her physical body and astral project. While it could be akin to a superpower, she sees it as a curse. That is, until the day she decides to play with its dark side. Sylvie then sets an evil plan in motion that she believes will change her life for the better. But she does not count on it spiraling out of control.
Connect with Katie
On her website: www.katiehayoz.com
On Twitter: www.twitter.com/katiehayoz
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/katiehayoz.author
Buy Untethered on Amazon: http://amzn.to/ZH2qzY
(Thank you to Rave Reviews Book Club and all the members who so generously agreed to host me on their site!)
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Katie's question & answer on THIS site:
Rave Reviews Book Club: Why did you choose to publish as an Indie author?
Katie Hayoz: 35 glowing publisher rejections and a husband who had a ruptured brain aneurysm and pulled through. I saw my life could change in a matter of seconds and decided I wanted my novel out there right away.
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