Crisis of Faith
I got an email from Mrissa (whom I admire and respect endlessly) about Regresser's Evolution and the thing I feared most turned out to be true. In a nutshell, she told me my manuscript was too junior for her to give it a good critique. She could not get past the grammatical errors to get into the story. I hate to admit it, but she's right. Too much passive voice. Too much redundancy. Too many approximations. Too many clunky sentences. It's not the first time I've been told the story is good but the writing was crap. Admittedly, though, I haven't heard it recently.
The biggest problem with Regresser's Evolution is the fact that it was first written over three years ago. I cannot express just how much my writing has improved in that time. It's taken a lot of rejections, research and practice but I have improved. The question now is what to do about it. Should I abandon this project as a lost cause and a part of my past writing career that cannot be resuscitated?
Ultimately, I think I've decided to give the novel one last chance. Even before the email, I sent my novel to my mom for editing. She just returned it. I think I'm going to have to take more time on my editing this time and edit it backwards (the last chapter first) so I don't get cause up in the story and how it is supposed to be. Also, I think I need to make myself a checklist of gotchas to watch out for.
This email from an author I respect hit me hard. Really hard. It put me into a mini crisis of faith in myself and in my ability to write. My train of thought keeps running back and forth through my mind like this. 'God, I really am as bad as I thought. No. Well, yes, then you were. You're a lot better now. I should stick to short stories. I'm good with short stories. What the hell are you talking about? You did finish the novel. It's a full novel. Beginning, middle and end. Of Crap. No. The writing is crap but you can fix it. Should I? Are you willing to abandon 60,000 words? Maybe. If it can't be rescued from bad writing. You can do it. It'll be work. I don't know. Bull. You're getting published. You've had to work at it hard for the last three years. Yes. I know. But. No, buts. Make a decision. I'll try to fix it. But, I've really got to watch my writing. I feel like I suck. Well, if you suck, your editors like sucky writing. Ok. I don't suck that much. But, maybe I should just focus on short pieces. You can do that if you want as long as you keep writing. Yes. That was never in question. Ok. So long as we're clear. We are. Keep writing. Keep improving. Keep doing.'
So, I'm going to put Regresser's Evolution to the side for a bit. Maybe until February for this pain to go away and only focus on the last two articles I promised Savvy Insider and my TEoP stuff. For now. I need to get my head back together. It was a very helpful (if painful) critique with specific examples and how to fix them. If RE can be rescued, it will make the story that much better. Until then, ow. I'm going to be over here, licking my wounds.
On the good side of life, I had James, the fabulous real estate agent over last night to talk about selling my condo. I made jokes about him selling it to someone that I can rent from so I wouldn't have to move. When he realized I didn't really want to sell my condo, he started drilling into why I wanted to sell which was mostly money. He told me flat out that I have already been through the hard part of home owning (the construction) and that I should not sell my condo. Period. I should just refinance. With the numbers he had pulled, I should be able to refinance without a problem.
While we were talking, the other half of the fabulous duo, the fabulous mortgage guy, Zach, called James to razz him about something and James practically ordered him to refinance me and make me happy. It was funny. Zach promised to do so and he is. I was on the phone with him this afternoon. At first glance, he can help me get rid of the special assessment and save me $300/month. I would prefer a savings of $500 a month but $300 is nothing to sneeze at. He's going to look into things more and get back to me.
However, while we were talking, I discovered two unhappy things. Remember when I lowered the limit of my credit cards on the advice of that bank chick? Zach tells me now that she had no idea what she was talking about. Having a card with a high limit and no balance means a much higher credit score that the lower limit card. Great. I seem to have shot myself in the foot on that one. Second, according to my Line of Credit record, I have two consecutive late payments which are hurting my credit score. However, neither time did I actually pay late. Both times, I paid on time but I didn't realize with the changing percentage, I had not paid the full amount. I received a call and was asked if I would pay the part that was late and did so. But, the record just says I was late on both payments. I have to call them and see if I can get that record changed.
Still, it looks like I'm not going to have to move and I'm going to be saving $300-$500/month with a refinance! You have no idea how happy this makes me. Really happy. I hate moving. If I don't have to, I won't. This means February really can be Project month around my condo where my roommate and I will finally finish setting up the playroom, decorate the big wall, reorganize the kitchen and do all of the other projects waiting for us!
Tarot Card for the Day: Seven of Pentacles, Inverted