The other thing Iron Man & I have in common

Prepping the manuscript to give to my workshop group in a few weeks. Some moments I’m exhilarated – I see all these pieces of stories that I’ve managed to pull together into one (mostly, kinda, more-or-less) cohesive novel, and I’m incredibly happy that I’ve stuck with this project. But then…there’s still so much left to do.

So many holes, so many redundancies that need to be edited, so many characters that aren’t really real yet.

What does it mean when you have to repeat, “Don’t worry, even Tony Stark has panic attacks” to yourself over and over, until your heart rate falls?

Maybe I should start doing yoga.

Priorities?

Will this be it? The year I get serious? I hate being serious. I don’t believe it’s healthy to be serious for extended periods of time. And yet. If this book is ever going to be finished (and please believe me when I say that I want nothing more) I need to get serious.

Tony Kushner says that writing a play is like creating a lasagna – you have to layer in a strong foundation of pasta, keep a precise sauce-to-cheese ratio, and choose carefully as you add vegetables and/or meat, so you end up with something that people will actually want to eat.

I’m trying to think about this as I finish my first draft. What is the author’s responsibility to the reader? Have I as an author created a balance between my characters? Is my structure sound? Have I used too much cheese? Could there ever, possibly, be too much cheese?