I got the email on Friday. "Help! I've done my words for the day – but now I'm beginning to see everything I'm doing wrong with this book." And it hit me, that's exactly how I feel, too! Now that I'm deep deep into the first draft of my pet-psychic mystery, I'm seeing things I should have done differently, asking myself questions that I should have considered from the start. My pet psychic is a grouch, a hard-boiled bad girl who just happens to be able to talk to her cat. So... would she eat meat (after all, her cat does)? Or would she be a reluctant vegetarian? How much would that bichon frisé resemble his gossipy owner? And would the kitten really be that clueless?
These are the questions that are only occuring to me now, 60,000 words in. But what I keep reminding myself is that this is a first draft. A rough draft. Supposedly the novelist Frederic Barthelme dictates his first drafts into a tape recorder, needing simply to create some raw text to work with. Supposedly the fact that these questions are surfacing now is a good thing. After all, I'll get to respond to them on the rewrite. I hope.
(and on the good-news side: I've hit 60,000 words!)