Archive for the ‘quest’ Category
Since RWA Nationals ended, much talk has been going on amongst my Starcatcher Sisters about fear … of submission, rejection, inadequacy — you name it and we’ve probably felt it.
Aislinn, who recently sold not one but two books, wrote an excellent post on writers’ fears just the other day. Her conclusion?
I must sit down, and I must write. I must give myself permission to suck. Because I’ll suck even more if I let the fear stop me from writing this second book.
I am so there … well, on everything except writing my second book. I’m still trying to sell my first. 😉
However, I am of a similar mind: It’s time to move ahead.
Of course I’m still tweaking my GH finalist and sending it out on submission. But if I don’t do anything else — something new — I’m going to go stark-raving mad.
So while I continue to submit “Beauty and the Ballplayer,” I’m also going to start doing other things.
— I’m making some serious progress on the story related to it, Dave and Melinda’s tale.
— And I’m going to figure out which of my other, finished stories I want to enter in this year’s Golden Pen — even though that means tackling another dreaded synopsis. Yikes. (The early bird deadline is Friday.)
— I also have my NARWA meeting coming up this Saturday. We’re doing a “first three pages” workshop, where we read the first three pages of submitted WIPs aloud and give feedback. I need to decide which one of mine I want to have read.
I have to keep moving ahead. Each new manuscript is better than the last, because we’re continually learning and growing — or we should be. So I can’t just sit back and rest on the laurels of being a Golden Heart finalist.
Who knows? My next submitted MS may well be the one that finally secures me the agent and publication contract I’ve been chasing.
Now I remember why I’m so glad to be off the dating scene. Rejection hurts. A lot.
I’m sure I’m not the only one to equate the search for an agent to the search for Mr. Right — but it’s an apt comparison.
You try to make a good impression on your dream man/agent. If — against all odds — a connection is made, you hope he feels the same spark you do. If not? The big “R.”
Rejection. You might feel worthless. You probably question your appeal … your talents as a writer.
I ought to know, having just received two agent rejections in two days. (Being a Golden Heart ® finalist makes for much speedier replies.)
At least they weren’t all negative: Each one featured good with the bad. They both had an element of “I like you but …”
The bottom line? “Beauty and the Ballplayer” wasn’t quite right for either of them. The hero and heroine didn’t speak to them. (Whether that’s an inherent flaw in the MS is up for debate. I might have some revising to do.)
In the meantime, I’ll continue the search for Dream Agent. Somewhere, out there, is my perfect match … the agent who believes in my work as much as I do.
An e-mail arrived in my inbox today with the subject line: “Your Submission: …”
Since I was at work at the time, I had an argument with myself.
“You can’t open that! You’re supposed to be working,” the me with the Midwestern work ethic said. (It’s the same me that never calls in sick because I don’t want to leave my coworkers in the lurch. I have something like 140 sick hours built up because never feel like I can take it.)
“Open it. It won’t take long — and it might be good news.”
“No, really. Good news or not, you can wait until you get home,” the angel me insisted.
My impatient side snorted. “Yeah, right.”
No need to guess which side won. I clicked on that e-mail faster than a hungry dog scarfs down its dinner. I’m not even sure I took time to carry on that conversation in my head before I opened it. (I should have!)
Unfortunately, the news was not good. Another rejection — the second on the partial MS for “Blind Date Bride” … well, the third. Two agents and one publisher have taken a pass.
I still have hope, though. At least it was an encouraging rejection, complete with a “hang in there and stick with it.”
The agent’s complaint? Worry that the voice isn’t unique enough to stand out in the market.
Now that’s a little worrisome, because I don’t have any other voice to write in. And confusing, because in the Beacon Contest judges’ comments, they loved my voice.
Then again, the judges’ comments are on “Beauty and the Ballplayer,” not “Blind Date Bride.” Maybe BDB still isn’t ready for prime time.
And maybe I just need to continue my agent search. Somewhere, out there, is the agent who will fall as in love with my story as I am. I just need to find her (or him).
Lucky for me, my friends at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood wrote a blog post about just that topic today: the agent hunt.
It’s funny how wildly my mood has swung. I was euphoric about my contest final two weeks ago, especially after reading the judges’ feedback. I had a feeling it was the start of something big. I imagined myself on the verge of signing with an agent, selling a novel or both.
Now, I’m down in the dumps, questioning my story … my voice … even my writing talent. Yes, even a “good” rejection stings. (I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that.) 😉
I know rejection is a — huge — part of writing. We all get them. Even the bestselling authors got them at one time.
Even so, I can say it definitively: I don’t like the downslope of the writer’s roller coaster.
It’s time to make something good happen so I can crest another hill. 😉
Thanks to one of my NARWA sisters, I found another contest to enter … a chance to win a pitch with a Harlequin American editor. Since I’ve long envisioned “Operation Snag Mike Brad” as an American Romance, I decided to go for it.
I can’t say I always envisioned it in that line. When I first wrote it, I had the Love and Laughter or Silhouette Yours Truly lines in mind. But since those are both defunct (sadly, if you ask me), I switched to AR.
The entry requires a one-page synopsis — something I’m getting better at writing, I think — and a logline.
Having never heard of a logline before, I did a little poking around at eharlequin.com. Apparently it’s also known as a “concept line” and is designed to give the editor a broad picture of your story.
One way to write one is to start with a well-known storyline, then reveal the twist that makes your story stand out. You can also use a familiar book or movie as your starting point, so you come up with something like “Elle Woods meets the Terminator” or “Beauty & the Beast set in outer space.”
The advice is straightforward enough, but I’m finding myself confused. Maybe it’s just because my MS is a big, confused mess.
I hope not.
Anyway, here’s the logline I’ve come up with so far:
“Operation Snag Mike Brad” blends “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days” and “Some Kind of Wonderful” — but in reverse.
In “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days” you have a reporter working on a story and using outrageous advice to get dumped. (Erin is a reporter following a book’s outrageous advice to snag “the man of her dreams” while she’s chasing a big story that’ll get her out of small-town Indiana once and for all.)
In “Some Kind of Wonderful,” you have a guy who thinks he’s in love with one girl but ends up realizing he’s in love with his best friend. (Erin thinks she’s in love with Mike but ends up realizing he’s more like her best friend and she’s really in love with with Brad instead.)
So both flicks apply — at least loosely. The “reverse” part is the whole using the book to snag the guy (not lose him) and the fact that it’s the girl, not the guy doing the falling.
I’m still not wild about it. At least I have a few more days to play.