Really, the truest definition of a novel

In case you have somehow missed my weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth on the subject, I am finishing up revisions for The Sword Between. And the process has been this sort of exhausting emotional whiplash, penduluming between, "Hey, that's pretty good." and "Oh, dear God, I wrote what?!"


At the same time, I have been getting the opening of the next book into some sort of organized shape, which has triggered an emotional roller coaster of similar patterns: "I love this story! I love these characters! This is so much fun to write!" and then five minutes later "Oh, Kat, why did you ever think this was a good idea? What a cliché! How very overdone, and oh, look, you've managed to make necromancy boring. Good show indeed!"


I usually read something not mine as a mental palate cleanser between the two projects - I don't want the voice from one to contaminate the other, and I need to reboot my brain. Today, I picked up the Tenth Anniversary Edition of American Gods, and read this bit in Neil's Introduction:


"I finished it, eventually, and I handed it in, taking a certain amount of comfort in the old saying that a novel can best be defined as a long piece of prose with something wrong with it, and I was fairly sure that I'd written one of those."


I feel much better.