Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fighting the Doubt

My self-imposed deadline for emailing The Agent to enquire about the status of my manuscript came and went three days ago. It's pretty out of character for me to be so hesitant, usually I can't help myself when it comes to emailig prospective agents for news. This time around, I just can't bring myself to even think about writing that email. A huge part of me has been taken over by the doubt-demons and I don't want to know that answer becuase I'm really afraid it's going to be another 'no.' I've had (and still do) high hopes for this manuscript, it's got a little something about it that other manuscripts I've worked on haven't.
Regardless of that, I don't want to be told 'no' by any more agents, especially when the 'no' comes with a 'it's really good but we just don't feel passionate about it.'
I suppose in some ways it's not surprising that I've gotten to this point, a person can only get so many rejections before it starts wearing on their confidence in themselves and their writing. Like a boulder out in the weather, over the years the wind and rain will eventually wear it down to nothing but granules of sand. It may not happen fast enough for the naked eye to perceive, but it is happening and one day you go out and see that where once there was a huge unmovable object, now it's become something you can pick up and move around.
In kind of the same way, I didn't recognise that my confidence was being worn down until I suddenly realised I couldn't bring myself to write to The Agent. My self doubt told me to leave it a little bit longer before I get another 'no.' Hopefully I'll get over this in the near future and actually do something about emailing The Agent because my proactive side thinks this is a crap way to be.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Finished.

I've finished the Harlequin Undone manuscript I've been working on, it ended up coming in at 14,000 words leaving me with a spare 1,000 if I need to do some major structural work. Which I probably will. I don't know... maybe it's because I'm not used to working in such a small frame, but it just seems to me that's there's so much lacking from the storyline. You barely get to know the characters before it's all over and done with. I guess that's why I prefer to work with full length 100,000 word novels.
So now I'm up to doing a bit of editing, getting some critiquing and polishing it to send to Harlequin. While I'm doing that I'll also be working on polishing my first two SOAP books to send off to the first of the RWAus comps for this year, the Single (Title) & Loving It comp, which is just the first 3 chapters and leads up to the bigger full length manuscript comps later in the year. After doing fairly well last year, I'm excited to see how I go this year. Right, well I should probably get to work!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Chomping at the Bit

Still not much to report from the writing front. I have done another couple of thousand words on the HUM, but still haven't quite managed to finish it. I am still wondering how I'm going to wrap it all up and fit in successfully into that tiny 15,000 word limit. But what's the point of doing what I'm doing unless I challenge myself every now and then?
In agent related topics, I'm still arguing with myself about when to write to The Agent. My trigger finger is just itching to shoot and email off to her now, while my doubt-demon is telling me that waiting will keep the hope alive and put the rejection off for longer. I think my trigger finger and doubt-demon will eventually come to the compromise of emailing her next Monday. By then I'll have finished the HUM and can also think about moving on to concentrate on the RWAus comps coming up. And then once I hear back from The Agent, if need be (and hopefully there won't be a need) I can look at which agents to send out to next. See? Always with the planning. Sometimes I think about these things way too much.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Eighth of the Eighth Oh-Eight

I never realized what a strange word eight is until I had to write it three times just then in the heading. Weird.
Anyhoo, I don't have anything to report today. I haven't heard back from The Agent still and I haven't done any writing to speak of. I did clean up most of the house today, but how boring is that? I really just wanted to write an entry today because it's the eight of August 2008. 08/08/08. Apparently it's so interesting that they dedicated a whole segment to it on the news tonight.
So, that's it really. The only exciting thing that's happened is that I lost my mobile phone (or cell phone, as they call it in America and New Zealand) and had to get a new one, but then my old one was found, except it was all smashed up (because I have mummy-brain and left it on the roof of my car and drove off causing it to fall onto the road resulting in the subsequent smashing) so it was good that I'd already got a new one since the old one is broken. That probably made absolutely no sense.
Well I'm off then, maybe I'll get some writing done tomorrow since I did the house work today. Have to get my HUM finished ASAP.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Timing

Its been twelve weeks since I sent requested material off to the The Agent. On her website, she has listed that they generally reply within ten to twelve weeks, and if you haven't heard in that time you should email them. From reading The Agent's blog, I know she's behind in reading requested material and has just gotten back from the RWAmerica conference. So as much as I'm chomping at the bit, wanting to email her and ask if maybe she's had a chance to look at my work yet, I'm going to wait another couple of weeks. You all know how much I'm hoping that this manuscript is going to be 'the one' and The Agent says "yes" when I finally hear back.
I've almost finished my Harlequin Undone manuscript, in fact I probably could have got it done today, but I was feeling very distracted. I did write 1300 words, which is better than nothing I suppose. But then I started thinking about my submissions and where I would send to next (if I have to send out another round) and whether or not my synopsis is as crappy as I think it is. God, I hate my synopsis. It seems like no matter how many times I start from scratch and try to re-write and try following a formula, or just writing what I think it should be, or do a combination of the two, it still comes out sounding crappy. Give me a 100,000 word manuscript any day, but a synopsis? I'll run screaming in the other direction.
Going back to my HUM, its been an interesting challenge trying to contain an entire story into 15,000 words. Several times I've written an entire scene and then gone back to take it out altogether because I've realized its not necessary to the storyline. As I said, it's almost finished now. I'll be interested to see what feedback I get from it eventually.

Monday, August 4, 2008

BIAW Finished

So Book In A Week is all over and done with. I ended up over my goal of 6000 words to finish with 9500. It was very good motivation, and I liked the fact that everyday I somehow managed to find time to write one or two thousand words.
In other news, I'm about halfway through my Harlequin Undone manuscript. Its going to be an interesting challenge for me, keeping a story contained within 15,000 words. I keep having to remind myself of that fact so I don't get carried away. I've got my sister-in-law all lined up to read it for me. I can count on her to give me a brutally honest account of where the whole thing is at, which as other writers will know, is invaluable. I feel sometimes that some other critique partners I've had have been happy enough to say things like "oh, you missed a comma," or "that sentence might sound better as..." but they never give me an opinion about the structure of the story and characters. I think my SIL is so good at it because we both love to read the same books and she understands exactly what I'm trying to do, sometimes better than me! I honestly don't think I'd have come as far in my writing a I have if it wasn't for her.
Anyway, I'll keep you all posted on how the Harlequin Undone manuscript (or HUM as I'm going to refer to it from now on) progresses. Hopefully I'll finish writing it in the next fortnight or so and soon after that will have it edited and sent off.
And then it'll be back to the waiting game again... *sigh*