I was feeling desperate, I almost wanted to give up. If it weren’t for a couple of friends that knew what I was up to and encouraged me to keep going, I WOULD have given up.
As I said, I tried to read my story from a stranger’s point of view. I tried to be my worst critic: the phrases would not always flow coherently, some were too long, others were boring or simply didn’t add up to the story as a whole. Some were plain useless and uninteresting. Do you know how much it hurts to delete details that you like just because they don’t help the story in any way? I tell you: a lot. It’s a very fine line between writing enticing details that keep you stuck to the page and endless descriptions that annoy the reader.
What also happened was the long time that passed from the actual trip. You know how time tends to alter our memories and, even more so, our feelings regarding a certain memory. I had to do a double effort here: one, to try to remember exactly how strong I felt regarding a certain experience/ happening and describe it accurately, and two, to try to emphasize details that I overlooked while traveling. A good example for the latter would be the exotic architectural details that were surrounding me everywhere. I remember feeling in awe admiring them while passing by, yet I was always snapping captures with my camera and, basically, not stopping enough to take in the view. While writing the book, I realized I just didn’t know how to properly describe what I saw. I would come up with words that referred to my feelings of the place (“beautiful”, “inspiring”, “marvelous”…), but nothing regarding color, exact shape, light, physical appearance in general. What does a reader imagine from “the building was so beautiful”? Yup, that’s what I thought too. I had to help myself with the hundreds of photo snaps I took in order to add some accurate descriptions to the story.
Also, some facts lacked “salt and pepper”, so I had to make details up here and there in order for the story to flow more nicely and be more appealing. It’s funny, ’cause I had a few friends read the main draft and they thought that some of the real stories were the ones made up, which actually made me feel proud!
Guess what comes after correcting your draft? Re-correcting! I’m actually in the 4th (or 5th? I lost track) phase of re-correcting the story, tweaking things here and there, adding more details. I feel this is the biggest weakness of my story at the moment: lack of sufficient details. Can I tell you how exhausted I feel? I look through it with a bit of loath, knowing already every phrase and squeezing my brain to come up with better wordings. I want it to be perfect, I want the readers, no matter if there’s going to be just one or one million, to enjoy it. I want it to be fun & easy to read, but also give some insight into this mesmerizing country, Morocco.
The reason I started this blog is, really, to motivate myself to keep on going. I don’t want to ask an editor or a publishing house to help me out, I’m not doing it for money or fame. It’s an experiment for me to write a book. It might be a lovely success or an utter failure, but I’m curious to see the outcome of it. I want to see if I can make it. So I have to go on, no matter how difficult it has become. 🙂
Have you ever written a book by yourself? Share you experience with me in the comments below! ♥