A few moments ago, I shut my eyes and pulled out one card from my tarot: The Nine of Wands. A woman stands alone, holding two crossed wands. Behind her, seven wands stand upright. She appears weary- how long has she held those wands? Yet there is no surrender in her gaze, for the card symbolizes perseverance and stamina.
It’s been a long time since I typed the first word of this WIP. Whatever that first word was- it’s been long ago changed. And changed, again. And again.
I’ve persevered when my characters moved from 1880s England to 1850s New England. I’ve endured characters bickering over everything from who had the starring role to what their name should be. Dark fantasy turned to Gothic horror when a ghost appeared. Winter setting turned to summer back to winter before finally deciding upon summer. The contrast of rich meadowland, blooming trees, and wildflowers against an interior of gloominess and despair intrigued me.
The most difficult moment was when I realized that my novel was too short. I had the dreaded novella. Sure, you can bring up succint masterpieces like, “The Postman Only Rings Twice”, “The Turn of the Screw”, ” Heart of Darkness”, and “Death in Venice”- but try to sell one today as a newbie novelist.
I took a long, hard look at my work to see if I could honestly add more story to it. (versus crappy word padding).
Well, I could. And I did. (It only took a few months of tossing and turning in bed, pacing back and forth across the living room floor at dawn, and glaring at my computer screen)
Now I have the full story intact. And all the headaches have been worth it, because it’s definitely a stronger work.
Today I begin revising chapter 8 out of 20 chapters.
I’m still holding the crossed wands in my hands. When they start to feel too heavy, I remind myself their weight is only a reminder of what I’ve conquered.
“We acquire the strength we have overcome.” Ralph Waldo Emerson