BTS: The Waitress Saga
Even if you’ve never written a book of your own, you probably have some idea of the process. You might think it’s a straightforward, logical sequence of steps, like
- Get an idea
- Write the story
- Do the things (edits, cover, etc)
You might also think that these steps take place within a reasonable amount of time, depending on how quickly the author writes.
This story? It took more than 20 years.
The idea and first draft began circa December 2000. I was working at a local pub at the time, and decided to combine some of the mundane tasks of my job with amplified versions of the fascinating people I encountered on a daily basis. Publishing it wasn’t even a consideration then.
Every couple of years or so, I’d pull it out, because I like re-reading old stories. I’d make some modifications, then shove it back in the drawer. That was my process.
Until last year, when it seemed that there might be enough interest in it to seriously consider putting it out there.
So I cleaned it up and sent it to a new content editor; my usual critique partner was no longer an option. Her feedback was less than encouraging. In fact, it was devastating. And she was 100% correct. It was bad.
I knew that if I wanted this story to see the light of day, I needed to go back to the drawing board and start from scratch, incorporating the lessons I’ve learned from the last 8 years.
I rewrote this book THREE TIMES. Since December. I kept hitting a brick wall until… I switched to 1st person POV and told the story purely from the heroine’s point of view. Rechanneling those days at the pub put me in the proper headspace and I was finally able to finish.
I’ll be honest. The finished product is a far cry from the the original from so long ago, but it’s so much better. And the elements that make the story are still there. I can only hope that you think so too.