Sender’s Remorse and Other Complications
Posted by: M.J. Fifield | on September 7, 2022
So, last month, I was one part of one scene away from finishing up my revisions on Full Circle and sending the manuscript to the betas. I thought for sure I would find a way to either not finish that scene and/or find new, exciting ways to procrastinate on sending out the manuscript, but I didn’t. I finished the scene and sent out the manuscript a few days later.
Usually, when I send a manuscript out to the betas, I have a moment where I feel all
because I did this thing. I completed a manuscript. I completed the revisions, and I feel I may have even made the story better. I have this moment (however small) where I feel a sense of accomplishment.
It soon dissolves into to a Great Lake of anxiety because I am, after all, still me, and I am nothing more than a overabundance of anxiety concealed in a trench coat pretending to be a semi-functional human being.
This time, however, I went straight into Lake Anxiety. There was no moment of triumph. No moment of accomplishment. There was no feeling that maybe I had made the story better. It was nothing but
(NOTE: That last gif is not the one I wanted to use. I wanted to use the gif of Spike from Buffy The Vampire Slayer saying “UNDO IT! UNDO IT!” from the season four episode Pangs, but apparently, no one’s made a gif of that moment, and I sure as hell don’t know how to make one. So if you know that moment from that episode, that’s what you should imagine here.)
My betas have had the story for a little over a month now, and it’ll be a while before I hear back. It’s not surprising—I write big books, and they apparently have lives outside of sitting around and waiting for me to finish writing a book (Dunno, though…sounds kind of fake…) so I am trying not to hit the panic button anymore than I already have (which is, granted, a lot) and refraining from sending them one apology after another for sending them such a shit manuscript to read. I mean, come on. It’s a big book and a big time commitment, and I feel horrible (more so than usual) that I didn’t do my best to send them a better story.
(And yes. This is what me not hitting the panic button (too much) looks like…)
Normally, I fill this time by working on another project. Gotta love distractions, right? My beloved goddaughter, for example, when she heard that Full Circle had finally gone out to betas was all, “Good. Now you can finish the Terrible Romance Sequel.”
Which would have been my plan, but it turns out that I still have no idea how, or even if, I can finish that book. All I’ve managed to do so far on that project is make this face:
Then I thought, “Hey! I’ll work on Adventures In Babysitting!”
This WIP, if you don’t already know, is meant to be a companion novella in the Coileáin Chronicles. It takes places during the events of Full Circle but is basically a few non-POV characters on a side quest, so I didn’t put it directly in Full Circle. I thought working on it would be a good idea, just in case anything shifted and necessitated changes be made in Full Circle because, you know, despite my best efforts and storyboarding tendencies, that happens.
Which is totally fine.
Doesn’t bother me at all.
Except…it happened in this WIP. Pretty early on, too. And it went a little something like this:
My villain: Cool storyboard, dude, but what if I did *this* instead?
Me: Hmmm. That does seem like something you would do. Or, you know, exactly what you would do.
Villain: I know, right?
Villain: But what?
Me: But in doing so, you’ve completely killed the ‘adventure’ part of ‘Adventures in Babysitting’.
Villain: Yeah. That sounds like a ‘you’ problem. Byeeee!
So now, here I am, with two possibly dead-in-the-water WIPs and the absolute belief that my betas are hunkered down in secret, closed-door meetings, trying to decide which one of them has to tell me how terrible Full Circle is.
Must be Wednesday.
On that note, I’m outta here. Thanks for stopping by, everyone. I sincerely hope your writing endeavors (or whatever you may have going on) are progressing well.
Happy Autumn, all.