I have finished the rough draft of my first novel.
It’s gone past the critical eye of two critique partners, so it isn’t as rough as it would have been. In fact, some parts aren’t too bad at all.
I thought I’d feel elated. I thought a giant whoo hooo would come bursting out of me, that I’d be jumping all over the house and popping the cork on a bottle of something fizzy. Done! Done done done!
But…now that I’ve actually typed the words the end at the bottom of the last page, I feel kind of … sad. Let down, somehow. Aimless. It’s finished? Really? But I’m not ready for it to be finished yet. I want to know what happens to my characters. What will they do? Where will they go? I want to keep on living their lives.
But that’s the way of it, I suppose. Every story must end.
So what happens next? Off it goes to Beta Readers, and then I start revisions.
Revision revision revision. Edit. Rewrite. Edit some more. Maybe more Beta Readers.
Until I hit the bottom of the last page. Again.
At some point, I’ll have to give the poor novel a title.
I went to the library last week and came home with four books.
Well…I still had four on my desk that I hadn’t read yet. And they’re going to be due soon, so I thought I’d better limit myself. Here’s what came home with me:
I’m a pretty eclectic reader.
I adore the library. One time about a year ago when I was feeling kind of blue and homesick, I went into the library and the librarian remembered my name. She also happens to be the librarian who looks a lot like my Whitehorse friend Carrie-Lynn. Anyway, I cried a little bit. Yes, it was kind of embarrassing to have to wipe my tears at the library check-out desk. But that’s only one reason I love the library.
Mostly I love the library because it’s full of books.
There is one thing that makes me twist my mouth sideways, though and it’s this:
Terry Brooks and Ben Bova do not belong in the same section.
It’s impossibly annoying to sift through all the Fantasy in search of a new SciFi to read. Especially because there’s like 50 Fantasy books for every SciFi one, which is shameful. Even more shameful is the fact that they’re all lumped together on the same shelf.
C’mon! You wouldn’t shelve Phillipa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl in the English History section just because Henry VIII is in it, would you? Of course not!
Now, some people are going to disagree with me, but it’s my blog so I can say what I want. And what I want to say is this:
Fantasy Fiction and Science Fiction are not the same thing. Ben Bova and Terry Brooks do not write the same thing. They are not even similar. The only thing Bova and Brooks have in common is the word Fiction…and both their last names begin with the letter B.
Terry Brooks writes fantasy fiction. The world in a Fantasy novel includes magic swords, elves, epic quests to save the kingdom from the evil druid, like that.
Ben Bova writes science fiction. The world in a SciFi book is built on technology. Maybe theoretical, way-far-out advanced technology-of-the-future, but technology all the same.
Maybe human beings will never advance their technology to the stage where we create cyborgs who take over the earth, but for sure an elf with a magic sword is never going to be the one to save us from them.
Issac Asimov himself said that “science fiction has its groundings in science and is possible, whereas fantasy has no grounding in reality, and so is not possible,” and I’m gonna stand by my man on this one.