This Book Has Teeth

I am at the end of work on the first draft of my Work in Progress. I’ve been working on it for nearly two years and finally it is coming together. The other day, I felt a little insecure about it considering part one of three is around 500 pages. I could only see a few things this meant about around 1,000 pages of book.

A. It was a bloated, overwritten mess

B. Nobody is going to read it, much less buy it when I start submitting it to agents and publishers. Because nobody wants books that are over 300 pages.

C. What have I done with the last two years of my life?

So, I voiced some of these thoughts around my online haunts, with friends, and even with my mom. Here’s something I learned about myself in the process.

From the online community of writers slaving away writing content for companies, so many people expressed positive thoughts about this. They reminded me that most writers don’t get this far. It’s a First Draft. That’s a big deal. Granted, it’s not my first book, but it is the first book of its kind for me and this level of ambition. This is a moment to be celebrated.

From one of my oldest friends, he said this was a lot like Howl’s Moving Castle, when the castle begins to schluff off its towers and giant chunks of its exterior only to become a set of legs and some pulleys. It’s an exciting time and when I really get to chip away at the flash to find the book inside. This is a moment to be celebrated.

Mom mom reminded me that an underlying fear has to be examined and discarded. It is not a nice book. It’s a book with teeth. It’s mean and vicious and snaps at anything that comes near. It’s a book about loss and regret, trauma, and fear of taking the next step to get everything you’ve ever wanted. Ironic or fitting that right now I am experiencing so many emotions about completing this book? It will not win me any friends with people who see themselves in it. It may rekindle old wounds and wake up old ghosts in some who read it and see themselves in it. It might earn me a lot of hate from all the shit I talk in this story.

Hell, I might have to move when it gets published.

When is the language I choose to use on this, because I do think that the message is an important one and one that has gone unvoiced for many. But it isn’t going to be light and fluffy. It’s a book that should come with trigger warnings. It’s not going to be Buckwheat. It’s going to be Eddie Murphy’s RAW.

There’s lots of sex, violence, heartbreak, tender moments, failure, and emotional damage. The narrative is of self-discovery and a man’s internal struggle to find peace.

But at its core, I hope the reader finds what I have found in writing it: Hope.