No, not that sort of nailing it. Slap your mind. :P
So, as I talked about for the entirety of last week's entry, I started editing The Book of Lost Runes last week. I was nervous, because I hadn't put my head down and edited a book since 2013. Yes, it's been a long time; 2014 was not a good writing year for me, for various reasons that I won't get into here because they're not that interesting and kind of depressing and I've already covered them in previous entries. But I pressed on despite the nerves, and discovered something surprising:
I absolutely nailed this story.
A lot of this entry is going to seem like bragging, and it's not. This is joy. This is the maniacal laughter that accompanies knowing I well and truly did something right. This is what happens when I sit down knowing that I could come out the other end of editing absolutely hating this story and wishing I'd never thought of it, and the exact opposite happens.
It's an awesome experience and I hope you all get it someday, if you haven't already. ^_^
Truth be told, though, this is as much a relief as it is a cause for celebration. I can't fool myself into thinking I'm not writing with hopes of getting published (trust me, I've tried), and I hated the thought that I might have written yet another book that I didn't want to touch again once the first draft was done.
But so far, most everything about BOLR has worked. The story flows as it should - quickly, yes, but not overwhelmingly so. I've only found one major plot hole, and it should be simple to close. I didn't spot any minor ones; hopefully my beta readers will find any I missed and let me know.
The romance also worked out well, which I'm glad for, as I'm always worried about making sure I do that right. It's easy to make a story's emotional content go overboard, and dealing with two people who haven't seen each other for ten years and decide to jump right into the relationship they've missed out on. . . . It would have been very, very easy to screw that up, to make it seem juvenile or narm-tastic or any number of horrible things. But it genuinely feels like two people who are kind of swept up in everything, including how they feel about each other, and everything comes about in a way that fits the characters and makes sense for the story.
I might have said "aww" at my own ending, I admit. These things happen.
There is, of course, still work to do. I started the by-hand edit yesterday, and as I noted, I have quite the slog ahead of me. Going over the whole book with a pen in hand is very different from reading it on a screen, and takes a hell of a lot longer. But reading it as a reader would, words on paper, really changes how the story comes across, and there are all kinds of things I notice in this process that I never would have seen otherwise.
In the end, this will all be worth it. The changes I've already made make for a better story, and the rest of the editing process will only continue that. I'm going to polish this thing until it shines so bright it's visible from my old apartment, and I'm damn sure going to try getting this one published. All that remains is actually making it good enough to be published.
But ye gods, considering how the plot changes over the course of the story, I am not looking forward to writing a query for this thing. >_< Even writing a query letter for the bizarre dream book will be easier than this one. Oi!