For you Star Trek Original Series fans: Do you remember the scene where the Enterprise was fighting the Giant Cornucopia of Death, and Kirk says, “I distracted it! That’s good! . . . I think it’s good . . . Scotty, get me out of here . . .”
That’s how I felt yesterday when my wonderful Beta Reader, Cynthia, sent back her comments on my first chapter. She spotted typography errors, continuity errors, characterization errors… all of which I can fix, I’m sure. The scary thing was — the things she wanted to find out about, the questions she was left with after reading the chapter — those are exactly the things that I wanted readers to be wondering about and anticipating after the first chapter.
In other words, for a first draft, it rocks.
Damn. I haven’t felt like this since I won first division in the Tri-State Music Festival. There’s elation, sure — and there’s also terror. There’s a certain amount of grief — when it’s rolling, when the words are coming, when I look at my “Beeminder Writing Time” graph (that’s automatically generated from RescueTime) and see it curving upwards almost without volition on my part — why did I spend so many years doing anything else?
Then another wave of terror hits, and I know why.
This means audience. Big time, really putting my fiction out in front of strangers, asking them to pay for reading it, and accepting their praise, their disapproval, or their indifference, as the case may be. (If they pay for it, I think I will at least take their comments at face value instead of trying to find hidden negative meanings.)
This has really kicked the crap out of my writing time for the last few days, while I’ve alternately cowered and then fantasized about the Oprah Show. Neither of those gets words written, characterizations corrected, continuity errors fixed, or anything else. I will be dedicating April to editing in Camp NaNoWriMo. I need to get out of the house, today, though, and get some momentum going, before I need to pay the nice folks at Beeminder $5. Again.