It has been almost a year since I last sat down with my first novel. It was the best and worst three days of my life. Meredith (the main character) was really annoying. I would be trying to sleep and she would come and kick me in the shin and tell me to get up and finish writing.
After the three days I had about 200 pages of the first draft of my novel. I was pretty impressed with myself because I normally would write short poems (badly I admit) or maybe a four-page short story. Before that point, I didn’t have the chops to maintain a story. Then Meredith came along and now I can’t stop myself from turning everything a write into a novella.
Meredith’s creation has a funny story. In a previous life I was a high school English teacher. I was teaching a creative writing class and I have always been a big fan of the cliché, “put your money where your mouth is”. If I was making them share their writing with me, it was only fair that I share mine as well. I started class with my writings and we would discuss the piece. Meredith’s story began as a three-page snapshot. She didn’t even have a name. Then, her story sat in my head until the summer. She got her name, a family, a background story and even a boyfriend.
I had my critics read it and they raved. I even tried to send the first ten pages out and tried to get an agent (okay, I sent it to one place and I used the first ten pages to try to get into grad school…neither of the avenues paned out). Then I just stopped. I didn’t loose interest in her, I just felt that she wasn’t really done yet and I wasn’t ready to face her again.
Her boyfriend’s mom needed to be reworked. The ending to the novel was a bit weak. Then there was Max. See, Max is a great character. He is so great that I felt that Meredith was starting to like him a bit too much. I am worried that if I open up the novel again, Meredith might try to go after Max and then I will be really mad because that was not what I wanted to happen.
So I ask you…do I drive back into the novel and start fixing it in the hopes that I can reel Meredith in? Do I go in and just let her do what she wants (which will probably happen anyhow, I mean she used to kick me…in the shin)? Or do I just let the novel remain dormant?