My heart is jumping out of my chest as I'm typing this, because with this book I've been through a herd of frolicking flamingoes and I thought at first they were nice and sweet and pink and then they turned into black fucking ravens and stripped me off my skin and opened their terrible mouths and, well...I HAVE FINISHED THE DAMNED BOOK YESTERDAY but what I mean to say here is, when I wrote the 1st draft, some people loved it, but the one to whom I dedicated it didn't (and rightfully so, it was shitty) and suggested improvements, and so I wrote the 2nd draft, and some people liked it a lot, and I got more notes on how to improve it, and then I wrote the 3rd draft, and I had some people outright tell me they fell in love with it, and now I finished the 4th draft, and it has changed so much, that I'm scared shitless. I do hope I didn't toil for nothing for 7 months, so you tell me what you think. I can tell you that I'M SO FUCKING HAPPY I'M DONE WITH THIS BOOK, YOU HAVE NO IDEA.
If you want to compare, here are the versions:
Draft 1 opening - people told me it was like chick lit/women's fiction type stuff, and it's in 3rd person.
Draft 2 opening - people told me it was like historical fiction with an element of horror. I added a magical realism layer.
Draft 3 opening - people told me this turned raw and fresh and it's a psychological thriller. I changed from 3rd person to 1st person and went bonkers.
Draft 4 opening - people told me that the word choice and the imagery is so intense, it makes them want to cry and it's a masterpiece (WUT?? Totally not).
See for yourself. I'm beyond terrified now, and I wonder what this book would've been like if I didn't publicly post the drafts and listened to feedback. Probably something else entirely. I've sent it off to my lovely editor who says I should have it back sometime in October, so to those of you who pre-ordered it, I think I will have paperback copies in November. Thank you for waiting!
A Novel by Ksenia Anske, Draft 4
Chapter 1. Mouse
I wake up and feel for the boar. The boar is Lyosha Kabansky, mama’s boyfriend. He’s there all right, snoring. It’s September first. I don’t need to go to school anymore and I could’ve slept in, but I’m leaving. He tried to sell me yesterday. He said, “Irkadura, this is Vova. You know what to do. I’ll give you a ruble for some ice cream.” I wouldn’t do it, so he beat me. Then they had me. They took turns, Lyosha and Vova. Drunk.
I turned into a mouse to escape them. It’s easier that way.
I’m sixteen and I’m mute.