Yes, yes it is.
To start with I should be editing right now. I have a publishing schedule for the novella and I want to stick to it. So I should be poring over the manuscript, rubbing my eyes, then starting at the bottom and reading each sentence one at a time backwards. I have errors to catch, wayward sentences to address and a side character that I’m starting to feel massively unsure about. I need to get some real critiques too. (Nervous, we were very nervous about that.)
I need a beta-reader, and a fresh set of eyes, in the figurative sense as well as literally right now. Reading is a passion for me. Reading the same 3,000 words repeatedly back to front, while searching for each error, and trying to imagine it as the reader sees it is a lot of work on top of learning to write.
Walk softly, and….
I want to write subtly. I want my readers to feel as if I’m telling this story for the first time, like I didn’t pore over it a million times, I want them to feel mystified as they read it, but still smart and informed. It’s a skill, for sure. A tightrope between giving and hinting. I don’t even have a giant floppy stick for balance.
“There were 5 paragraph long info dumps on lore in the first draft but I took those out ripped them to sheds and burned them in a fire. In the original draft you literally learn exactly what Clarine is in the first chapter, she monologed about her fucked up life while packing and leaving the motel where she killed Ale….. rest in peace info dump, hello mystery.”- Cameron Cook, Wattpad Forums, 2016 (Freelove.)
I started from the other side. I wanted nothing but mystery, and I may have went overboard. Here though was someone who had achieved a fairly stark balance. Through revisions and I’m sure a lot of work they’d come to a goal I’d striven for. There’s no limit to what can be learned with the right questions or just the right amount of listening. I have found a new method to try for achieving the subtle edge I want from my writing, and I’d read something I enjoyed from an author I knew, as well as improving my writing.
I found a stick.
After I finish some work-work, I need to do some social-work, I need to read two separate books, I told the authors I would, and I need to let them know how I feel about them. I need to tweet a bit, get out there as much as I can, and make more friends. Can never have enough friends in the book world. That’s something I can see already and it’s true of everything under this glorious sky, when you think about it. Nothing nicer than a friend.
Study-Work. I have about twenty articles in my bookmarks to read. From a treatise on cover design to a discussion on character death, from titles to demons, it’s a massive list of things I should have some clue about. Authors are tweeting most these. Publishers, and just people who work in the industry, many people with job’s I have yet to fully grasp. I’ve already been through a ton of them. It’s helped, when I think about it so a few hundred more can’t hurt.
Tips, tricks, sticks, and a winning smile. It will have to do for now.
I need to plan out my novel concept, and finish my second novella. Actual writing, is last on my list. It’s the one thing I want to do most in this world, and to do it well, and even start my self-marketing journey, I’ve got a lot of pre-steps. A lot to learn in the long time it will take me to write this thing well. I am liking keeping busy though, so that’s a plus. It will get easier. I’m excited again, thinking of how much I’ve accomplished since just last night.
To finish this post and fully answer my question, yes it’s a lot of work. I’m still clueless-ish, just starting out and I feel a little swamped. Someone mentioned a writing schedule on twitter this morning. I’m making one now. I wish I could remember who did so I could end on that for a quote.