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MsGneiss
11-09-2010, 06:09 PM
Hey Everyone -

I just finished a non-fiction project, and had it published. It was a lot of fun, and I'm happy about the extra cash coming my way, but now I'm ready to get back to fiction, which I miss terribly, and which I'm yet to have any luck with publishing. I have so many ideas floating around in my head, and I have no idea how to ground myself and actually focus on something specific. I have a manuscript that I finished over a year ago, which remains unpolished, and has never been submitted to any agents. Do you think I should return to it and see if anyone is interested in it? Or, should I start something completely different? I haven't written a word of fiction in over a year, and have been so pre-occupied with my non-fic project as well as with my dissertation, (which is essentially another non-fic project) that I feel so overwhelmed and have no idea how to get back in the game.

So, any encouraging advice is greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

Cathy C
11-09-2010, 06:16 PM
My advice is to edit the one already finished. There's no better time than the present to learn the art of editing and with a project that's been sitting for a year, you're in a prime position to notice things wrong. Read it essentially as a reader. Does the plot make sense? Are the characters interesting and make you root for them? Every author needs to learn how to find these key problems with books and fix them and while it might seem overwhelming as you go back and find a lot of things wrong, it's great training for both fiction and non-fiction (I also write both. :) )

Good luck!

MsGneiss
11-09-2010, 06:23 PM
Thanks so much for that advice, Cathy. I am terrible at editing my fiction (even though I'm quite good at it when it comes to non-fiction). I think that you are right - I need to go to the finished manuscript and work on that.

Susan Littlefield
11-09-2010, 07:26 PM
First of all, congratulations on publication of your non-fiction work!


Do you think I should return to it and see if anyone is interested in it?

You bet! Since it's completed, it's now time to self edit and get it ready to submit.


Or, should I start something completely different?

Why? You already have something that you can start submitting soon.

Kate Thornton
11-09-2010, 07:35 PM
Go with what you have finished first - then be glad to have an idea for a project to work on during those interminable waitings for answers.

ishtar'sgate
11-09-2010, 11:15 PM
Hey Everyone -

I have a manuscript that I finished over a year ago, which remains unpolished, and has never been submitted to any agents. Do you think I should return to it and see if anyone is interested in it? Or, should I start something completely different?

If it were me I think I'd go back and see if I'M still interested in it. If excitement for the project is still there then I'd recommend making any necessary revisions and start sending it out. You've got a nice amount of distance from it so you can go back as a reader instead of an author which seems to make it easier to spot what works and what doesn't. If your attitude is pretty ho-hum then I'd chalk it up to writing experience and move on to something else that gets your pulses going - writerly speaking.:D

MsGneiss
11-09-2010, 11:42 PM
Thanks very much everyone. While the old project no longer seems exciting to me, I feel like I really should go back to it and attempt a fair edit. Truth is, I'm rarely passionate about fiction projects once the writing part is done, mostly because I hate editing. But, I really do need to do this so that I can grow as a writer. I don't know if I'll end up submitting this particular one to agents, but it needs a look-through from me, at least. Thanks!

Phaeal
11-10-2010, 01:11 AM
It's normal to lose the excitement for a project between drafts. When I come back to one after being away for a while, it generally takes me a week or two (or even three) to get back into that fictive world and start caring again. So don't give up too soon on the reread and revision.

I'd recommend a book I read before major revisions, to get in the proper frame of mind:

Revision: A Creative Approach to Writing and Rewriting Fiction, David Michael Kaplan

Also my favorite:

The Fiction Editor, the Novel and the Novelist, Thomas McCormack

The second is brilliant but not for those easily wearied by theory and quirks.

SueLahna
11-16-2010, 08:38 PM
Do you have anyone you know and trust who would be willing to edit it for you? Sometimes the only thing you need is a fresh pair of eyes and a new voice to get you excited for your work again. I was once bored and tired of my first novel Sanguinaria, so my old (and favorite) high school Creative Writing teacher gave it a swift and merciless edit. Now I'm reworking it once again to give my protagonist the awesome character flaw of being possibly schizophrenic. Also- try listening to some old music you haven't heard in a while, something along those lines, might inspire your book/muse to get up and start talking again.
If you ever need someone to just bounce ideas off of feel free to PM me. :3

MsGneiss
11-16-2010, 10:19 PM
Thanks so much Sue! I actually did get together with someone who has helped me in the past. We spent several days working on it non-stop, and I think that I've pretty much reached a point of diminishing returns when it comes to editing this novel. I don't know if this book is publish-worthy, but I'll give it a go nevertheless. And of course I'm ready for my next fiction project, so I'll definitely take you up on that offer. Again, thanks!