Wednesday, January 27, 2010

WIP Wednesday: One Last Line Edit


I feel like I've spent half my adult life doing line edits of my as yet unpublished novels. It's frustrating and exhausting because while every read cleans up some plot line or grammatical typo, each read also robs me of the enjoyment and excitement that the novel once provoked.In comparison, I love starting a new project. The words and ideas just flow out of me. But slogging through revisions slowly wears on me, grinds me down to a nubbin of my former writing self.

Familiarity breeds contempt? Maybe. Let's be kind and rather say separation makes the heart grow fonder. But even after a short hiatus, I'm starting to feel too close to Mara's story. The revision demons are starting to nag at me now--Did you fix that character arc? Did you add all the correct French accents to the names? Did you know you still don't have a title worth mentioning?

Yes, damnitall, I know! *grumble grumble*
Friggin' demons think they know everything...

Anyway, to keep from sounding like such a Gloomy Gus, I've linked some excerpts that I posted earlier. I'd love it if someone liked the story enough from the excerpts and wanted to beta for me. It's only about 64,000 words, so it's a pretty quick read.

Teaser 1
Teaser 2
Teaser 3
Teaser 4

Here's a tentative query blurb, too, why not:

While most Romani girls her age desire a husband and a wagon of their own to care for, what sixteen-year old Mara wants is to stop seeing muló, tortured spirits of the dead. To keep from passing this curse along to her unborn children (mostly), Mara refuses the marriage proposal of her childhood sweet heart. Soon after he leaves for Paris, Alex’s letters stop coming. Since her other dream is to play her violin on the Parisian stage, it doesn’t take much to convince Mara to go in search of him. Especially since leaving her family also means leaving behind the frightening muló that haunts her.

Accepting Alex’s old job and room at Hysteria, a nightclub in fin de siècle Montmartre, Mara learns nothing of his whereabouts. Though Guy, a handsome tenor, goes to great lengths to determine that Alex is dead, Mara won’t accept the truth. Alex appears to her that night, telling her to leave. In the morning, the reality becomes all too clear: she’s actually been visited by his muló. Despite the danger, Mara’s guilt won’t let her go home-- not until she learns the identity of Alex’s killer. The problem is, Alex won’t tell her. He won’t even show himself. Though she’s ruined her chances with Guy, the longer Mara stays at the nightclub, the more she likes life there. The lure of the stage grows stronger than her desire to uncover the truth. Will Mara find out what really happened to Alex before the murderer strikes again?
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Hope that piques some interest! I really love this story and want to make it the best I can, but I can't do that without your help! It's not just the idea, but the time period that makes it my current favorite of all my "kids". I love the art, the music, the performance art of this period. I love the artist Alphonse Mucha, who illustrated the cover of the magazine above, which was printed during the same winter in which my novel occurs. I've been in love with the artsy 18th arrondissement--Montmartre--for years. Hopefully, I've done it justice!

Thanks bunches, y'all.

8 comments:

Voidwalker said...

The query sounds good, but I'm betting Query Tracker, Query Shark, or Query Ninja could confirm if it needs any work. Those sites are extremely helpful. I'm sorry I didn't link them, I'm feeling a bit lazy today.

Elana Johnson said...

I'm so with you! Why do we have to edit the dang thing so much we want to vomit?? It takes all the fun out of writing. Le sigh.

Hang in there! It will all be worth it in the end, right?

L.T. Elliot said...

I'd love to read it but I'm currently smack dab in the middle of three other crits. =[ However, I think it sounds wonderful!

Tamika: said...

Sounds like you are nearing the end. My husband was asking earlier today how things were coming along. He is so clueless- poor sweet soul!

This is going to take a long time. Ouch.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I'm an obsessive editor too. Don't worry.
Your story sounds intriguing. I'd love to offer to beta for you but between my upcoming conference and my goal to finish my first draft by end of Feb, it would be a long time until I could get to yours. So I'm pretty useless for the next month. :(

Heather Zundel said...

Oh you poor thing. Hopefully the love will bloom again.

Lisa and Laura said...

We'll totally beta after our edits are done! Not sure when that will be though...this sounds like nothing I've ever read!

Tere Kirkland said...

Thanks for the offers, y'all! The lovely and talented Abby Annis said she'd be kind enough to take the first crack at it. If you've been missing her like I have, don't worry, she'll be back by next week.

The most important thing for me right now is just to take my time with this project and not to query too soon, which is probably my biggest problem. It's funny, because I'm usually so patient--sometimes to my own detriment.

So I'll definitely take rainchecks!

Thaks again, y'all!