Sunday, June 21, 2009

Working That Delete Button

I’ve been AWOL while I’ve tried to desperately finish my manuscript for the Desire pitch competition, a manuscript that I hit the delete button on only a couple of hours ago. That probably sounds a little insane because it’s thousands and thousands of words down the drain, but I’ll admit to being a little frustrated with myself. I don’t want to write a book, I want to write a GREAT book and none of my work to date has been that (or at least I don’t think it has been).

The problem is that I can’t pinpoint the problem! Somewhere in the middle something goes splat and that’s about the end of it, which has me thinking I’m either in the wrong profession, the wrong genre, the wrong category, or there’s something very, very wrong with my brain. Either way the days are numbered for any of the manuscripts saved on my computer.

For those of you who are a little less radical, and perhaps a little more optimistic, sharing Nora Roberts philosophy of revamping previous attempts and selling them I give you a link to Susan Meier’s Can This Manuscript be Saved? Which helps you to identify your problem as either scene, story or word. It’s fascinating stuff for anyone who has an intense dislike for editing (probably because that’s what they’re doing at the moment).

On a disheartening note my pitch for the Silhouette Desire contest wasn’t chosen, I’m not sure if that means I put Diana to sleep with two simple sentences but it certainly doesn’t speak well for me that I can’t write a riveting logline. I think it will be a very long time before I get up the courage to pitch in person :). A huge congrats to the NINE (not five) finalists I’m hoping for nine full manuscript requests :).

For those of you who have Modern Heat (Sexy Sensation) or Modern Romance (Sexy Romance) manuscript waiting in the wings, get over to www.iheartpresents.com who will be having their second Instant Seduction competition in July. I won’t be entering this year (since I’ve deleted all my work ;) ) but I will be cheering on all of you who do so let me know if you’re entering so that I can find my cheerleading costume and get a banner done up :)
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5 comments:

Jackie Ashenden said...

Lacey no writing is ever wasted. No hitting delete keys please! I certainly haven't given up on my rejected manuscript. In fact, I thought of a perfect way through its main dilemma this morning.
And as to loglines. Well, it's certainly an artform and some do it better than others. It doesn't mean your ms isn't good!
Why is your middle going splat? I find that when it does that for me, it's the conflict. Have you got someone who can take a look at it for you? An independent eye can work wonders! I'd offer but I don't know much about Desire.

Suzanne said...

Oh Lacey, it is hard, isn't it. I've written myself into a full stop with my WIP so I know how you feel. BUT DON'T DELETE anything else, please. Do you have someone who can look over your work and offer an opinion?

Romy said...

Lacey, please tell me you've kept your manuscript backed up somewhere! I have a friend who is also just a little too quick with that delete button and it terrifies me. What if, a year from now, you realise how you can save/rewrite it?

And please, please don't ever think the ability to write a logline is any reflection of your ability as a writer. Blurbs and loglines are a very specialised skill. As long as your actual writing can speak for itself, you can get out of that slush pile without having to pitch it with just one line!

Good luck with the new manuscript!

Joanne Cleary said...

Oh lacey, that is radical! I wouldn't worry too much about the desire pitch. I know a few writers who have great stories who didn't get picked either. I'm sure the rest of your ms was great.

Do you have someone you can bounce your ideas/work off to get an independent point of view? You could have just deleted brilliance you utter mad woman :-)

Lacey Devlin said...

I know! I'm very naughty! But honestly they were all just BAD. Conflict BAD. Characters BAD. Scene, story, words, all BAD.

At the moment I'm reluctant to expose other eyes to my work lol they might end up blind. They're also happily ignorant of what internal and external conflict is which could make the critique fun...

The manuscripts I've deleted so far are unsalvageable there's just so much wrong with them I'm sure it would be easier and less time consuming to simply start again. It's sad but true and probably part of my learning curve but I don't have to be happy about it ;)

Joanne, I hope those other Desire writers are planning to submit :) I'd love to see their stories on the shelves!