Earlier this week I completed the rough draft of my novel 'Beyond the Edge'. It stands at 68,100 words right now, the longest thing I have ever written. I already have an idea for a couple of additional chapters I want to add during revisions, so it will end up being even a little bit longer.
I'm very excited and proud of the story I have written, but I know it still needs a lot of work. I recently sent a few short excerpts out to some friends who helped me with my research for this novel. I'm waiting to hear back as to their opinion. Even though I'm a published author, I still feel some insecurity when it comes to my writing and storytelling abilities. Every time I write something new, I worry about whether people will enjoy it. This story is tricky in another way. I have been calling it a hardcore bdsm novel. I'm not really sure that it qualifies as hardcore. It definitely will to my more conservative friends who may never have read any bdsm stories. But now I have friends who actually engage in bdsm in real life. Will it be hardcore to them? Probably not. It may even seem quite tame. Who knows?
But, ultimately, I have to write the story that speaks to me and the story that I want to write, and not worry about pleasing everybody. I only hope that, no matter people's preferences, the heart of the story comes through and I am able to engage them with my characters and the romance of their coming together.
So I am taking a break for a couple of weeks and then I will read it through from start to finish, making notes along the way. I will then add or remove content in order to better represent the characters and themes I am trying to portray. Once I have the content right, I will go through the rough draft for language to tighten and smooth out sentence structure and vocabulary. Although it sounds like a lot of work (and is), there is nothing that thrills me more than polishing a story so that it transforms from something mediocre to something fantastic.
Of course, if/when it is contracted for publication, it will go through the entire process again at the hands of my editor, which will make it even more amazing.
Can't wait ;)