Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cover Me! I’m Going In!

A huge thank you to those who commented on my last post. I needed some writing community support, and it was certainly given. I’m very grateful to have connected with such a great group of writers, who are also wonderfully decent, generous, talented people.


One such person, whom I will call Mz. SuperFabulous, not only handed over her work in progress for me to read (FREE BOOK! Woo Hoo!), but also offered to read the YA fantasy I’ve been marketing for the express reason of discovering the source of the disconnect between my main character and agents’ hearts. Because ultimately, most of the feedback from agents has shared these items: great writing, compelling story, but didn’t connect with the main character enough to want to represent the work.


I am completely okay with revamping my writing and gladly hack things to pieces with a certain verve that might be worthy of an asylum. The trouble, in this case, was that I only knew that they didn’t connect, not why they didn’t connect. And in a first person story, it is a little overwhelming to consider changing who your main character is when you don’t have the foggiest idea who she should be to make her more lovable.


Enter Mz. SuperFabulous, who read my book with great speed (the absolute best quality in a reader... now, I will add that I read her work almost as fast because I know that is a golden quality) and then mulled, actually researched what worked in another friend’s book, and delivered to me completely workable action items for increasing the connection between readers and my main character.


Everything she said resonated and she even used examples in her explanation from successful books that I’d both read and loved. And I got it. So, I dove back in over the weekend, and actually went back to my obsessive writing style that I’ve cut back on of late (more than twenty hours working on it over two days). The lion’s share of the work is finished, but fine tuning will take place over the next couple weeks. I certainly don’t want to introduce typos into my work or leave puzzle pieces out.


What started as a fluke (since I really didn’t intend to edit this book again, favoring finishing the next one and getting that one out to market) has become a new adventure for a beloved book. I was ecstatic to be back in the world I’d created and causing all sorts of new trauma for my characters. Hopefully, this nudge will help the story to find a home. But even if it doesn’t, we writers, by investing our time in the work of others, are like bees, pollinating the landscape we love, and that, in and of itself, is a beautiful thing.


Quote for the Day from Mz. SuperFabulous


“It takes a village to write a novel.”

10 comments:

Debra L. Schubert said...

So happy for you, Jules. It's only a matter of time before your talent and dedication lead to all your publishing dreams coming true. ;-)

Kasie West said...

Awesome! Great readers are the best. And it does take a village to write a novel--if that village is full of other writers. :) I have no doubt your novel will find the right home. It's fun to be excited about a project again.

Laura Marcella said...

Great quote and so true! Your perfect agent is out there just waiting for your fabulous novel. Keep it up and good luck!

Jemi Fraser said...

Great post - I'm so glad the rewrite is going so well. It's exciting to feel that direction :)

Julie said...

Debbie,

Thanks for the vote of confidence. I means so much coming from a talented lady like yourself. :)

Julie said...

Kasie,

I love having you in my corner. You're a keeper! One thing I feel the need to confess though: I almost hijacked Mz. SuperFabulous's quote of the day by writing:

"It takes a village idiot to write a novel."

That made me laugh, but just didn't seem inspiring enough for today's post (no matter how true it feels sometimes). I'll have to save that for later. :)

Julie said...

Laura,

I agree with you... just like soulmates, we've all got our perfect agent out there somewhere. We just have to keep moving forward and doing the hard work. Thanks for the comment!

Julie said...

Jemi,

I'm just loving the new direction. It's like I put on magic glasses and the world swirled into a much more interesting place. I promise no drugs were involved in this literary high. :)

jdcoughlin said...

I have your site from your BFFs and so glad I came over. I'm in the middle of a big rewrite. I sent my latest to an editor and he sent it right back with some major suggestions. I have to say, some were tough to hear, what was he thinking, this is my book. But after my breathing returned to normal, I realized what a gift another set of eyes is. A new set of eyes is a wonderful thing.

Julie said...

Judith,

Isn't my BFF a keeper? Seriously! And I know how hard it is to get those comments (which in the past, included the "Start all over," guidance). But as writers, we write, so what's to do but move forward. I'm just surprised at how much I'm loving the revamp. I hope you are feeling the same way! Thanks for the comment. :)