It's like... when you're doing your first draft, or second or maybe even third, it sucks because what you thought was awesome before turns out to look like total shit when you read back over it again. But I'm coming up on a new snag, here, because I've finally hit the point where it all looks great to me - genius, I say! - and that means it's time to rely on other talented folks to give it an objective eye.
It's like trying to back a trailer into a parking space, or something - you can think you know what you're doing and be good at it, but ultimately the person on the ground is the only one who can really tell you how close you are to hitting that fire hydrant.
And right now I am just not sure I will ever be able to get this goddamn thing parked.
"Well," the reasonable reader might enquire, "if YOU feel like it's good to go, why don't you start sending it off?"
Two reasons, say I. First, you need an absolutely KICK ASS beginning, and while I've gotten considerably divergent feedback on what particularly is wrong with mine, kick-ass it is not. And second, it's not that 148,000 words is totally out of the question for big fat fantasy novels, but if you're going to try and sell that, you have got to make SURE that every single one of those words is absolutely mission-critical. And mine aren't. (I think it's more a case of trimming bits here and there, rather than cutting out vast tracts of irrelevance, but I have lost considerable confidence in my bit-trimming insight - again, it's gotten to the stage where it all looks pretty good from here.)
Anyway, the consolation in all this is that I already know I'm going to keep working at it until I'm dead or published, so no danger of quitting in despair. AND I have already gotten awesome feedback from awesome people, with more yet to come. Right now it is just real hard to see how this giant unwieldy thing is ever going to fit between the yellow lines.
Fantasia has no boundaries.