Thursday, March 14, 2013

Right? Yes. Easy? No.

Just in case anybody on the internets hasn't heard - or kind of forgot, because I almost did - tomorrow is Pitch Madness. I was so excited when this first came across my Twitter feed because, I think, at the time I'd just finished Two for the Rent. It would be such a big change from what I had pitched in the last contest she held - Sage - and, considering the feedback I got when I pitched it during a hashtag event, I was pretty damn excited. This could be what lands me something bigger and better. Pitching it in 35 words isn't a problem, I'm more than comfortable with my first 250 words, and all screens are pointing toward giving this a shot.

No problem, right?


I did a lot of thinking today, and yesterday, too, watching stuff come through my Twitter feed and trying to feel that same excitement I felt last semester when I damn near missed the entry window. And while I am kind of excited, and I'm really hopeful, I won't be entering Two for the Rent. I can't. Not in good conscience.

It's finished, yes, but it's not complete.

As much as I want to throw it out there and hope for the best, and feel happy and kind of safe in knowing there could be a better market for it than Sage, it's nowhere near where it needs to be. Where it should be to be entering contests. It needs at least a full second draft, and I won't waste an agent's time, nor take somebody's spot that has a complete and polished manuscript ready to go. I couldn't do that.

I won't do that.

So I'll wait for the next one. There will be other contests. There's also always good old fashioned querying when the time comes, but for now I'll sit on it, keep plodding along with the second draft and the second book in the series. And we'll see what happens down the road. A little at odds with the carpe diem lifestyle, but the timing's not right. I wish it was. Damn, do I wish it was. This, however, is all part of the process, and the learning curve. A learning curve where a large part is knowing when you're ready, and when you're not. Realizing you're not can be a little hard to swallow. It's part of the journey, though, the whole process of going from idea to manuscript to, hopefully, at one end of the road, an agent. My process for this particular project still has a ways to go. It smarts, but I recognize I'm not where I should be for a contest like this at this time.

To all those entering tomorrow, I wish you the best of luck. I'll be there for the next one. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Blind Leaping Faith

Trying to get a novel published is like taking one flying leap off the edge of a precipice without knowing where in the hell the bottom of the canyon is and whether someone will catch you or you'll crash and burn. You can see the end in sight - that nice display in B&N - but that's on the other side of the long dark tunnel, and there are many times when the light you see is actually an on-coming train in the form of a rejection.

Despite all of this happy happy stuff, which always feels more depressing for some reason, one just has to solider through and keep hoping for the best. There's contests along the way - enter your first 250 words, your first paragraph, your 35 word pitch (which is hard, by the way, to condense 95k worth of writing into one single sentence), and peruse twitter to see what's coming down the pipes next. Sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes you don't.

The point is that while it's not easy, nobody ever gets anywhere by giving up. So don't.

Don't give up.

Have faith that your writing is something someone, somewhere, is going to want to read, and subsequently love. Because, sometimes, at the end of the day, that's all you've got. Along with good friends to help you, too, and give you the boost you need.

Don't ask me where this post came from today, of all days, because I'm impressed I could finally make what's going through my head into something coherent that wasn't a new fiction chapter. Which reminds me that I need to get on that. Writing a series is kind of fun.

Happy Monday.
"The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn't."

-Joseph L. Mankiewicz