Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Insecure Writer's Support Group: No Show, No Go
The Insecure Writers Support Group meets online every first Wednesday of the month. Founded by
Alex J. Cavanaugh, IWSG was created to support and encourage all writers in every phase of their work, from writing to marketing. Click here to join, and for more information. The website has writing tips and much more.
Hosted in March by:
Chemist Ken, Suzanne Sapseed, and Shannon Lawrence!
This month my focus has been on making a public commitment to pursue publishing and all that involves: researching agents and publishers, polishing, polishing, polishing my novel, formatting the manuscript, reassessing if a previous synopsis works (it didn't), and sending out queries. I haven't sent out one query yet! Okay, deep breath, deep breath. Maybe this is normal. You think you're ready, but then you discover half a dozen things you haven't finished.
The big thing is I've reduced the word count from 96k to 84k. The goal is 80k, which is more in the ball park for this genre (contemporary adventure mystery-YA). I decided that I wasn't following the so-called rules for a first time novelist. No sense shooting myself in the foot with a higher than normal word count.
In other words, I didn't want an agent to think I didn't do my homework. I saved the original just in case I'm asked to flesh things out more, and I didn't cut any scenes, just a whole lot of flab. One thing that stood out to me, since this is a novel for young adults, is that I had adults dominating scenes too much in spots. I can't write this story without the help of adults, but where kids step up to the plate, I gave them more to say, and adults less. I used contractions more, which also reduced word count.
But the lurking ever present worry is that I will not finish.....and this process will drag on forever. I've had similar starts out the gate, and I don't want this to happen again. I no longer have an outside job and haven't for awhile, or other time-threatening interferences, so no excuses this time. No excuses!
No Show, No Go, as the saying goes.
On a brighter note, I'm still at the start gate, digging my toes in the sand, trying to ignore the phenomenal talent on my right and left (focus, focus, focus), and waiting for the gun to go off. I haven't given up (another pattern in my past), and God willing, I would really like to believe that this time is different.
Also, I like what editor Cheryl B. Klein (who was continuity editor for two Harry Potter books) has to say about the submission process. (Anyone else read her book?). It's really about finding "the right match," she explains. "It's like dating."
"But in fact we editors are just people, readers, like you, looking to make connections just like you. And that led me to the comparison I'm going to make today: The submissions process is like dating--an intensely personal endeavor where everyone is looking for the right match." (Cheryl B. Klein, Second Sight, 2009)
And again, my thanks to the IWSG community. I know it takes great effort and time on your part to pull away from your desk and busy life to share your writing journey, whether it's to seek encouragement and answers or to offer some yourself. I hope others debating the merits of this group will stop hesitating. But mostly, I wish everyone well.....Stay the Course _/)