So You Think Your Book is Ready? It Isn’t.

After all the years I’ve spent writing, you’d think I would learned my lesson. But no, I managed to make the same mistake again a few weeks ago. I’d finished a draft of my new novel, Anywhere’s Better Than Here. I felt like it was strong, really strong. After all, it had already gone through many drafts as a screenplay, and this was the second draft of the novel version. I was really just adding to it, making it better; tighter in some place, looser in others. I was sure my beta readers were going to tell me how wonderful it was, how it was just a few short tweaks away from being ready to send out.

Boy, was I wrong.

My beta readers are kind, but they’re tough too. They pointed out all the obvious weaknesses in the draft, things I couldn’t see because I was too close to it. The opening scene that I thought was killer? They hated it. “It’s good for a first draft,” one of them said. Ugh.

What to do? My first reaction when I get criticism is to tell myself I’m a terrible writer and I really should be doing something easier, like brain surgery or running for president. Once I get that out of my system, I give myself more rational messages: At least they’re telling me what my book needs. I wouldn’t get that from an agent. I’ve been through this many times before. I’ll get through it again. I have too many skeletons in my closet to run for president.

The next thing I need to do is step away from the book for a while to give everything a chance to digest. Right now I’m working on the first draft of Goddess, Book 2. In a few weeks, I’ll reread all the notes I’ve been given, re-outline the book, and return to battle. I know I’ll get through this and come out the other side with a better book and as a better writer. I will survive.

Otherwise, vote Kelee Morris in 2020.

Best wishes and happy writing,



One thought on “So You Think Your Book is Ready? It Isn’t.

  1. I’m sure some famous, now-dead author said the secret of writing was in rewriting. Just think of all the ghastly novels out there which clearly need a good edit and thank your lucky stars yours won’t be one of them…

    Liked by 1 person

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