I have good news: I’ve been on a roll with writing After the Fall.
From May to August 2016, I’d managed to churn out several chapters in quick succession. It was an intense and exciting time, and I was hoping to finish the story before a certain significant milestone in my life. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and when Autumn rolled around, I started to run out of steam.
It’s taken a while, but I’m so glad to say I’ve returned to this project and I’m making significant headway once again. I am so in love with the story I was trying to tell that I felt so guilty at the thought that it might get permanently shelved as so many others have. Fortunately, that’s not happening!
Where I’d left the story, I had a bunch of unfinished, disjointed chapters and snippets that didn’t really have places in the current order of things. I managed to salvage most of them and rework them slightly until everything fit together. But there’s still so much more to write and I’m so ready to write it. (I’m not sure if it will be a novel-length work by the time it’s done, but that really doesn’t matter to me as long as the story flows.)
Here’s the kicker: I’m seriously considering pulling another Seaport for After the Fall. When I self-published Secrets in Seaport, I was overconfident in my self-editing skills and I inflicted the story upon the world in a frankly sorry state. But as much as I hate Seaport now, I force myself to keep it available as a snapshot of my abilities at the time it was written; a cringey milestone, if you will. I’ve promised myself to do better next time.
Cliche is my attempt at doing things better, more traditionally and responsibly for self-publication. It’s being beta-read. When that’s done, I’m going to edit, revise, and proofread it to the best of my current abilities. Then and only then will I publish it.
After the Fall is kind my book-baby. I want it to be delivered into the world as all babies are, bare and helpless. (The comparison sounded way better when I said it aloud to my mother….) If I’m to spend months or even years editing this, as I grow older, it will change too. It’ll age with me. It won’t be the story whose general plot I jotted down on a sheet of loose-leaf paper two years ago.
When I finish After the Fall, I’ll do a basic self-edit and some other minor damage-control rituals (to make sure no one’s backing their cars into circular driveways and people’s ages don’t change when they shouldn’t … stuff like that), but then I just want to publish it.
This is a conscious choice made with experience, however impulsive it seems, to publish this book “raw.” It’s imperfect, holey, unrealistic, you name it. But that’s how I think I want it to be. I want it to be a testament to where I am now, that I can look back and cringe at when I’m older. Hopefully, I’ll cringe a bit less at this one.