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View Full Version : Ever get the 'WhatamIgonnadowiththis' blues? If so, commiserate here.



KTC
11-10-2009, 09:55 PM
I have a manuscript that I thought was ready for submitting.

Then I changed it.

Then I thought it was ready.

Then I changed it.

And so on, and so on.

It was in first person.
It was in third person.
It was an Adult.
It was a YA.
It was a Mid-Grade.
It is currently a Mid-Grade that I know is too advanced to be Mid-Grade...but would not be of interest to YA readers.

It was polished.
Then dissected.
Then polished.
Then re-written.


I'm mad.

As in crazy...not furious. Though I do feel fury.

Anybody else going through this?

I just don't know what to do any more.

Who else has a problematic manuscript they wish would self-destruct so they don't have to think about it?

PS: I hate Dubious Pickles.

scarletpeaches
11-10-2009, 10:01 PM
I had a manuscript that didn't seem to fit anywhere. It jammed at 50, 60k and it refused to admit it was a trunk novel. I know a trunk-candidate when I see it and this wasn't it. It just. Refused. To die.

It was an Urban Fantasy novel. Then YA. Then mainstream. Then a UF/chick-lit crossover (whut)?!

Aaaaand my unholy alliance kicked off with tt42 and I realised what I'd written - everything I wrote - was erotica (either erotic romance or in this case, erotic UF).

If Herr Pickles refuses to die, it could be that he's just not figured out his genre yet. When it happens, you'll just know. No-one else can pinpoint it for you. But I remember with Gabe and Alex (my male MCs from the UF novel), screaming at the computer as if they could hear me, "Why the hell didn't you tell me before now that you wanted to be in an erotica novel? Why wait this long?"

But...when you're ready, when the book's ready...it'll happen. If your heart tells you Pickles won't die, there's a reason for it.

ETA: Oh, and remember I said this book jammed at 60k? The 'final first draft' ended up pushing 128k. Once I found my genre, it flew. It practically wrote itself).

KTC
11-10-2009, 10:08 PM
But...when you're ready, when the book's ready...it'll happen. If your heart tells you Pickles won't die, there's a reason for it.

ETA: Oh, and remember I said this book jammed at 60k? The 'final first draft' ended up pushing 128k. Once I found my genre, it flew. It practically wrote itself).

Yes. It sounds like you know the pain I feel. I'm glad you unravelled the mystery and fit it somewhere. Mine isn't jammed. It's completed. It's just too advanced for what I was writing. It started as adult...and then I saw a Roald Dahl opportunity so I had fun with it and took it in that direction. Then, I think it got a bit too 'old'. It has magic, shape-shifting, ostriches, a teenage scientist with a penchant for souping up everything he can get his hands on, a river inside a house, a swamp inside a closet...Jesus. What was I thinking.

But, yes Peachy...he refuses to die. Every time I try to trunk him he pokes me. It just makes me sad with the madness.

Priene
11-10-2009, 10:09 PM
I had two years wrestling with my last WIP. In the end I kicked its head in, bandaged it up and put it on the rounds. It might not be perfect but it's finished.

Red-Green
11-10-2009, 10:13 PM
That was the first real novel I wrote (as opposed to those other two dastardly impostors I wasted my college years on). It was romance. It was literary. It was a dark comedy. It was first person. No, third. No, wait, multiple first person. No, wait, do over!

I trunked that book for ten years, and then about a year ago I got approached by an indie publisher who knew a friend of mine and had read some of my pubbed short stories. He asked to see a novel. I took that thing out, dusted it off, spruced it up, and he liked it. I didn't ultimately take his offer, but the point is: After I gave it some breathing room, it turned out the book was what it was, which is a couple different things, and a publisher liked it. Go figure. Don't give up on Dubious and don't try to force him to be something he isn't.

Cassiopeia
11-10-2009, 10:13 PM
I've only read a tiny bit of said Mr. Pickle. To me, the beginning did seem mid-grade but I've not read more than that tiny bit.

So what excludes it from being of interest to a YA group? Why is it too advanced for MG. Is there something in the story that you can change? If it's still in third person, consider putting it back to first (which is your forte) and see if the story doesn't take a different road.

I'm sorry that I can't say I completely relate but I do enough to know how frustrating this is.

KTC
11-10-2009, 10:18 PM
Hey Kim...I think it's just too silly and fantastical for a YA audience. Today, it seems they need more than that to whet their appetites. Is there a market for books that are 'read' to mid-graders? hehe. I could see it working that way. I don't know. I just think I just blurred too many lines with this one. I was having so much fun with it, I forgot to look outside the story. I can't see it fitting into a home. And I don't know if I'm up for another dissection.

scarletpeaches
11-10-2009, 10:19 PM
Hey! You didn't blur any lines.

Repeat after me: "It has crossover potential."

KTC
11-10-2009, 10:20 PM
Hey! You didn't blur any lines.

Repeat after me: "It has crossover potential."

ha! yeah. damn you and your positive thinking!

i wish i had written a script.

Phaeal
11-10-2009, 10:20 PM
I find that months of research and free-writing and outlining kick my novels into shape before the first draft. I've never had one change intended audience or genre on me, though they always require significant changes and refinements to mirror the way characters and theme develop during that first "real" draft.

And yes, the second and third drafts always reassure me on completion that when I come back in six weeks, they'll just need a bit of polishing. They lie.

About the middle grade novel being too sophisticated. I don't know -- a lot of MGs are pretty sophisticated these days. Why not let the market decide? Either you'll be vindicated in your assessment, or you'll get a pleasant surprise.

Ken
11-10-2009, 10:26 PM
It is currently a Mid-Grade that I know is too advanced to be Mid-Grade...but would not be of interest to YA readers.


... seems then that the easiest route to take would be to eliminate or replace the material in it that is too advanced and then market it as a Mid-Grader. Save the current version of course so that if you want to go in another direction with it down the road you can. Just look at the whole thing as an experiment for now and try out a few chpts and see how it turns out. My 2 cents ;-)

Cassiopeia
11-10-2009, 10:38 PM
ha! yeah. damn you and your positive thinking!

i wish i had written a script.But--okay, I KNOW you just said your not up to another dissection but why not create a script from what you have?

KTC
11-10-2009, 10:53 PM
But--okay, I KNOW you just said your not up to another dissection but why not create a script from what you have?


God no. I only said that because it's a movie in my head. I don't have the time. I'm just whining out of frustration. No biggy.

Wayne K
11-10-2009, 11:02 PM
I had a manuscript that didn't seem right, so I sent it out.

I've had a serious amount of unpublished success.

KTC
11-10-2009, 11:04 PM
I had a manuscript that didn't seem right, so I sent it out.

I've had a serious amount of unpublished success.


Ha! Now that sounds like the YA I've been sending. 3 fulls so far from agents. That sounds good, but it equals 3 rejections. (Just wasn't right.)

Stew21
11-10-2009, 11:26 PM
I can relate.

Taking Lessons... has done this to me as well.

It's been written, rewritten, edited, polished, pulled apart, stuck back together, re-edited.

Queried and rejected 50 times.

I have it in the hands of one more beta.

Beyond this, I will go through the edit process one more time and attempt one more round of queries. At that point I will consider that it is only really a book to me, and take the eggs outta the basket.

I'm writing other things, but I really thought this one had something. I'm not so sure anymore.

KTC
11-10-2009, 11:38 PM
I adore Taking Lessons, Trish. If it was my call...it'd be published by now.

Stew21
11-10-2009, 11:40 PM
I know you do. I adore it too (it's really a love/hate now though).
Ernest is real close to winding up in the trunk. Makes me sad and a bit relieved all at once. Maybe moving on and letting it go will help me produce a publishable book, and maybe then Ernest can come back out to play.

Cassiopeia
11-10-2009, 11:49 PM
God no. I only said that because it's a movie in my head. I don't have the time. I'm just whining out of frustration. No biggy.
Oh! well in that case, whine away. I do, come to think of it, know how you feel. You know as well that I've struggled with Lady I for years now. I want to just kick her to the curb but she keeps hollering at me to finish her.

Even now when I'm doing a completely different thing for Nano, she's nagging...."When will you finish me. You could have finished me long by now, if you'd have the dedication to me that you do Jacqueline. You just don't love me!"

And so the insanity continues. :)

Anytime you feel like kicking Dubious my direction you know where to kick it to. :)