Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Until You Quit Trying


Why is it that the closer we get to our end goal, the harder it is? Maybe that's just me.

I am so close to finishing the revisions I set out to do in June and now I just want to ball it up and throw it all away.

A funny thing happened to me in June. I was ready to throw in the towel on this first story. I didn't like the ending, which led into another book, and then another. I literally wrote two books and got over 20,000 words into the third story before realizing I just didn't like the way book 1 worked out.

By this time, I had sent six queries out before realizing how a query should be written, thanks to the Query Shark. After revising my query, I sent 5 out and immediately got one request for a partial that eventually came back as a rejection. Then I joined one of Query Tracker's contests for feedback on my first chapter. The feedback came as "Telling more than showing." Here's where my story takes a turn.

I was already rearranging book 1 in my mind before the contest. After the contest, I was rewriting my whole story idea. Then a week later the agent that hosted the contest asked for a partial based on a query I sent well before the contest existed. I sent a polite email reminding her that I participated in the contest and what her comments were. At that time, I asked if she was still interested in my partial. If so, I would be willing to revise based on her comments.

The agent was kind enough to respond by suggesting I go ahead and make the revisions and then submit the partial via her email. I spent two and a half days revising thirty pages before submitting early am on a Friday in June.

The revisions prompted a complete overhaul of book 1 where I would need to wrap book 2 up in it for a more satisfying ending. Now, I'm 30,000 words away from the finish and I'm doubting myself and I am probably days away from hearing from the agent on the revised partial.

The problem is that once I started pulling from book 2, I found several ways I could revise my story if I dumped book 1 and focused solely on book 2. I mean, book 2 just jumps right into the heart of the story exactly where I want to be. Book 1, at first, was a lot of background with some action. Since the revisions, I was able to make book 1 way more interesting, but not with the same type of action that book 2 holds out of the gate.

I'm attending WriteOnCon and now I'm not sure about my whole story. Maybe I have to step back a little. My focus is torn between the kids and their summer activities and James' Ironman.

Have you ever gotten so close to something that you just froze? Unable to get where you know you need to end up for the finish?

The funny thing is that I don't really want to quit per say, I just want to start all over.

I desperately need two things:
1. To hear back from the agent so I know which way to go (feedback would be awesome but in the event of a form rejection, I think I will rework book 2. Of course, if any type of yes, or send a full comes about then I will jump for joy.)

2. Attend WriteOnCon. I will benefit greatly from other's like me, and the experts.

By the way, have you joined my Writing Triathlon yet?

If you are already sending love to Elana Johnson via her blog, Query Tracker blog, or WriteOnCon then you have a leg up in this race. Now you just need to let me know you're playing in the comments and then head over to The Practice Room and Tour De Writing and leave comments on their blog about your writing progress. It's never to late to bump someone and get one of three prize places (to be announced soon).


  1. I'm near the end of finishing my story. I think I'm afraid to end it, because then I'll be that much closer to sending it out (and possibly having it shot down). I'm so close!
    Good luck to you!
    Triathlon: Commented on both of Elana's posts this week. I need to do a Practice Room! Let me check out what Heather has posted this week now!

  2. Wishing you all the best with your book...no matter which way you ultimately go.

  3. Kelly - Endings are the worst, that's probably why I started writing mine into a trilogy. Finish it up and then get yourself out there. There's no other way of knowing. You can do it! Great job on the writing Triathlon so far!

    Urban Cowboy - It's been great getting to know you. Thank you for your constant messages and replies. I really enjoy your support.

    I think going away for the weekend will help inspire the finish to my rewrite. And then who knows what will come through the email in regards to my partial, I feel lucky to be asked for my partial twice.