If you read my last post, you'll know that my apartment was broken into last weekend. Though it was a scary situation, it has had one good outcome regarding my writing.
I can't sleep. My palms are sweaty, I keep worrying and checking the lock on the back door compulsively. I can't concentrate on my WiP. I'm a nervous wreck.
Symptoms sound familiar? If you're currently stuck in Querying Hell, you'll know why. Since I tend to feel the same way when I am querying, I decided to go ahead and send out another batch of e-queries. Figure why bother wasting these sweaty palms? And maybe compulsive email checking will distract me from the constant, compulsive door-lock-checking.
But strangely enough, aside from the manic inbox refreshing, I feel better about my work this time around. (Is this Round Three already? Can't be!) I managed to clean up my repetitive dialogue tags, tried to remove any awkward narrative, and added more personal perspective from the MC.
One of my biggest worries came from an agent's rejection of a full, though. This agent said they thought: "things were happening too quickly--as though you, as the writer, know the way you want the story to go and are forcing it in that direction, rather than letting it take shape on its own."
Now, I know it doesn't help to obsess over the quick notes an agent jots down about your full, but even though it was the first (and only) time I heard this comment, this agent had been pretty spot on about other weaknesses in the manuscript. I was worried. It seemed like a major flaw that couldn't be overcome during the quick rewrite I had planned. In re-reading the manuscript, I felt that I knew what this agent meant. I realized that I thought of the story as being sort of... guided by a supernatural force out of the control of the characters. Call it Fate, but I realized I needed more than just an unnamed force calling the shots.
What I decided to do was give an existing character a larger role, making it out to be she (or the loa she was devoted to, even I'm not 100% sure of this) who is pulling the strings of Fate. She was one of my favorites, anyway, and I think her presence in both times really helps to balance the story, and cut down on the feeling of a contrived plot.
At least, that's the hope. The proof will be in the partial requests, right?
“All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” ~George Orwell
I'm a YA writer who delves into urban fantasy, paranormal and romance, and who loves reading good books almost as much as writing them.
When not writing—or working—I enjoy daydreaming, drinking tea, and walking in cemeteries. I used to spend the rest of my time checking my inbox for manuscript requests, but am now proudly represented by Rosemary Stimola, of Stimola Literary Studio.