A Story That Sticks to Your Brain

I went and saw the new James Bond movie last night. It was enjoyable, but I ran into one rather large problem:

My thoughts kept drifting back to the book I’m reading.

I seriously couldn’t stop thinking about it. The story was stuck to my thoughts like a fly to flypaper. I had so many questions (most obviously: What happens next???), that I kept circling back to what I had just read. Never mind that Bond was seducing emotionally-damaged women in their showers – what is the plot of my book leading up to?

Now, that is good fiction.

And it made me also think about my novel, and how very, very much I want to have that effect on people. Now I am brimming with changes that I want to make, tweaks here and there, scenes to add, etc. However, I know that I am walking a thin line between wanting to make my manuscript amazing so that I have the best chance possible for publication and getting so stuck in making changes that I never actually finish it.

So, no, I will not change the entire thing into first-person, and no, I will not have a main character kill someone just so that she can grapple with death. But the other stuff, well…guess I’m just going to go with my gut on those changes.

How about you? Ever find yourself dancing along this knife’s edge of perfectionism? How do you know when to say “no” and when it’s worth it to rework things?

Oh, and the book I’m currently so enthralled with is N. K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Give me a mentally unstable protagonist any day, and I’m yours.

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