There’s plenty for me to be insecure about lately. I’m insecure about my NaNo book, but I think Jordan pretty much covered that on Monday. So I’m aware of what isn’t working, and I’m just trying to push through with it, hoping that my narrator grows a backbone.
What I’m really insecure about is diving in to the second draft of my newly finished novel. For several reasons. The first of which is that editing is scary! It’s so different from writing a first draft. The first draft is fun; it’s passionate. It’s all about words flying onto the page and not worrying about how perfect they are. Well, editing is more about hard work. It’s about getting those words to be perfect. I don’t even know if that’s possible. In poetry, people say that the work is never really done. A poet can even look at a piece they’ve published and think of ways to make it better. Is the same true for fiction? There’s a lot more to work with, so you’d think that every time you looked at one page you’d find a word or two to change. So when does it end?
I’m also nervous because I really want people to read my story, and I’ve had some people express interest in it, but I’m afraid to give it to them. I don’t know if I should wait until I have a second draft. But then I think, wouldn’t it be easier to combine my own edits with whatever critiques they have, rather than doing two revisions? But there are some portions that I know need to be fixed. There are some parts that embarrass me and I don’t want anyone to read yet. I know Chapter Eight needs a complete overhaul. The setting doesn’t feel developed enough. I’m still uncomfortable with the sex scene. And some of my potential readers are gay men, so I have this fear in the back of my mind that they’re going to tell me how wrong every single aspect is, not just with the sex scene, but with how the characters act and well, everything!
So I’m not sure what to do. Give my first draft out or fix everything that I know is wrong with it first?
But I’m just dying to get some readers who aren’t my boyfriend who just says everything is wonderful. I’m having these fantasies of going into work and having someone come up to me and say, “I just finished Chapter Twelve and I hate you,” or “Oh my God…that fight scene…I was in tears!” I want it so bad. But what if I don’t get that? What if everyone hates it? Or thinks I’m some kind of weird pervert for coming up with it in the first place?
I don't know what to do but I guess this is just the sort of thing I'll have to deal with when I actually publish it. Some people are going to love it, some will hate it. Some people will get what I was trying to say, others will think it's sick and wrong. I'm still hesitant to give it out even though I think for the most part it's a good story, just with a few hiccups. But I also feel I should give it out now while people are still interested, before they forget all about it and don't care anymore.
What do you think? Should I give out my first draft or edit first? Anyone else going through the second draft woes?