Monday, March 14, 2011

Possible Breakthrough?

Regarding my own work-in-progress (WIP), I've spent several weeks internally agonizing over how to structure my story. There are so many pieces I know are good, so many concepts I know will work, and characters I really like and can't wait to share. But putting all of this together, and getting over the fear, or perhaps, humility, of editing, has been a new challenge.

I spent the better part of two weekends in January revising my draft, adding depth and detail to characters, developing scenes, adding in transitions. So much of that work is now scrapped. That's a little hard to take at first. BUT, I know that work is helping me get to where I want the story to be.

The problem was, I spent far too much time giving backstory on a secondary character, and it took too long to get to the fun part of the story. It's just that I had this great opening line, and a few scenes I could vividly imagine, and I didn't want to lose it. Losing it is what I did though, and finally yesterday I constructed the first 4-5 pages to be more of what I originally envisioned for the story.

Reading author and agent blogs has helped tremendously. I cannot overstate how helpful people are in their blogs to those of us who are so green to publishing we literally look up phrases on google as we're reading them (like "upmarket women's fiction"). Anyway, I know that when querying a book (publishing-speak for shopping around for an agent), agents often ask for the first chapter or the first 5-10 pages of a manuscript along with the formal letter. I want those first pages to show my favorite characters getting into all the trouble they need to in order to set up the book. I don't want to waste this space on stuff that I can weave into the story later.

So, I think I have that part set a little better. I have so far to go, but I'm excited to have a little piece of this come together. Some days I feel like it's impossible and wonder why I am putting all the effort into a book when there is such a narrow window for what gets published. Each time I get a small achievement, it reminds me.


  1. thats always ahrd to do, but sounds like its working for ya. I have a few girls I always send my chapters to, and they always have helpfull things for me, that are so nice, sometimes painful to hear.

  2. I didn't think about sending a handful of chapters, I have been trying to finish the whole thing before I send it out. Mainly because I've had to revise a lot at the beginning numerous times to get the flow right.

    The painful is necessary, so I'm bracing for it!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.