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.”