Jumping the Gun

[box] Jump the Gun: to do something too soon, especially without thinking carefully about it.  idioms.thefreedictionary.com [/box]

License: Some rights reserved by Andrew Kicinski Photography / Flickr

I thought I had finished the first draft of my novel. Truly.

I was mistaken.

When my CP sent her notes back to me on the final chapter, she attached a note that began like this, “I don’t feel like this is the end.” It felt as if I were a balloon and she just poked me with a pin.

The struggle to finish had been mentally challenging. My main concern boiled down to drawing out the story beyond its lifespan.

After reading her remarks several times, I realized that what I thought was the climax could really be a catalyst for more emotional upheaval instead of the culmination. I’ve made my protagonist too nice. I’ve made her husband too understanding. I let the antagonist get away with too much without proper retribution.

The rest of Cresta’s note inspired a few half-formed ideas that I’ll noodle around with for a while. Just me and my trusty notebook, laying the groundwork for more tension, more emotions and a satisfying conclusion to what has come before.

I’m so lucky to have a CP that isn’t afraid to be honest. One who is exceptionally bright, I might add. Now, I have to tell my BF that I’m not finished. While she is extremely supportive, she tends to use the tough love approach. *sigh* I hate disappointing my staunchest supporters. I’ve done so by rushing instead of calculating.

  • I did the same thing with my first manuscript. After I finished it, I kept thinking there could be more, that there was an emotional/psychological component that hadn’t yet been resolved. So I kept writing. Then came the monstrous task of editing it down and making it cohesive! Good luck with the continued writing, and remember: It’s better to disappoint that BF cheering you on than to disappoint your story and yourself by jumping the gun. 🙂

    • M. Frye

      Thanks for the encouragement Lea. I’m used to disappointing the BF – she can handle it. LOL I think I’m on the right track to resolve the problems. Just need to keep writing away. 🙂

  • Hi Missy, Oh, I’ve been there. It’s such a relief to be done and then ……..
    Best to you as you carry on!

    • M. Frye

      Thanks, Kylie! I think I’ve figured it out, just need to do a bit more research on criminal proceedings. I appreciate your support.

  • I totally feel your pain! I just had to do rewrites of an ending. I thought it was done but really it needed more. More emotion, more tension more, more, more. I did it and I have to say I feel better about it but it was overwhelming before I did it and a bit exhausting. Take time, ponder and then get to work and the words will come to you! Good luck! xoxox, Elena

    • M. Frye

      Thanks, Elena! I’m feeling a little overwhelmed right now, but I know I can make it work. I’m trying to take a few days away from it, but I find myself making notes periodically through the day. At least my mind is working. 🙂