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Rejection and NEW STUFF (Accountabilibuddies)

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

RaggyCat

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Hard and fast revision is super satisfying!

So, a week later than I was hoping, I am now DONE on my revisions for this MS. I did these revisions mostly for former agent, so it's only gone to her at present, but I think save one edit I'm not quite sure about they've all made the book better anyway. But I'm going to sit on it until I know what she thinks. I might take a few days off but very soon I'm going to move on to the new project, so my goals will change from time spent revising per day to time spent plotting per day.
 

Gen5150

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I have an idea for a contemporary/mystery novel that I have not seen in the YA space, but the writing process will be so different than the manuscript that I am querying that it makes writing feel foreign. My finished project is high fantasy, third person, all sequels outlined, etc. Everything from the moody descriptions to the continuity in that manuscript was creatively exhausting in the way that only a writer could love. This contemporary is the first manuscript that I could start writing immediately. I don't have to create a new world with new mechanics. I can write supporting characters that are meaningful without designing family trees and histories to understand how they fit into the world. Of course, I will still find things to stress about with this project, but I can write a Japanese character without spending days brainstorming how to represent Japanese identity in a world in which the term "Japanese" doesn't exist.

In short: Writing without months and months of preparation feels like cheating after working on a project that has taken so much from you.


**Update: I've started on the first page. I've been avoiding this thread because I thought that it would be months before I moved on to another project, but posting here might be a catalyst for creativity.
 
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Jeneral

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I am having an insanely hard time getting my new WIP started. I think I have the MC's voice okay, but that switch from polished MS to brand-new first draft is SO abrupt. Everything feels clunky and bleah. I'm off to a writing retreat this weekend, so I'm hoping to play with some scenes and see if I can find my way into the story. I'm also expecting edits back on my first MS basically any day now, and I'd like to feel like I have a good start on this new thing before I switch gears. Wish me luck! I need to get words down!
 

polishmuse

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Welcome Gen! Hope you enjoy your new project!!

Jen, I hope this weekend is the kick in the keyboard you need to get going. I'm still waiting on those edits, which were due yesterday, delayed to today... trying not to check my inbox because I'm really raring to get going on them and I think a watched inbox never dings.
 

RaggyCat

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Welcome, Gen!

I'm sorry you've had a patchy week, Jeneral (and others, judging by the Google Doc). I really hear you on the switch from polished MS to... basically nothing. Same position here. I normally find the first 10,000 words of a new MS torture before I start enjoying it. A writing retreat sounds a smart move at this stage. I hope it goes well!

A watched inbox never dings - trufax, Polish!

My intent today was to do planning on new MS yet I seem to have spent far too long finding some pics that look like my characters on Google Image Search (something I always do when planning) and somehow done very little else. Oops.
 

polishmuse

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YES. Got an hour+ of editing done today. This is my final pass on this project before it gets either the up or down vote by agent-darling. If she doesn't like it, I think we'll be parting ways (eep), so feeling the pressure.
 

RaggyCat

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Well done, Polish! Eeep, I hope your agent likes it - that's a nerve wracking situation to be in. No one wants to have to break up with an agent. Having done it myself, I know that first hand! However, hopefully that won't come to pass.
 

polishmuse

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I'm kind of at peace with it at this point. I'm so proud of this book. I'm open to feedback and incorporating what she's given, but if that's not still there after these four drafts, then I'm at a loss.
 

RaggyCat

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*nods* Four drafts is enough. Much better to move on than stick with an agent you could be revising forever for (and a book that becomes further and further from what you want it to be). I moved on because agent had said no to two different MSs (one which had had a complete rewrite). The irony is then I (certainly not intentionally) ended up revising MS2 along the lines former agent had suggested anyway... but that's another story!
 

ShouldBeWriting

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I seem to have spent far too long finding some pics that look like my characters on Google Image Search (something I always do when planning) and somehow done very little else. Oops.

Thought I was the only one who did that. :) Before I started writing my latest, I actually wasted two hours of time I should’ve been writing trying to find a picture that reminded me of my protagonist.

As for all those zero word count days...life and work kicked me in the butt this week. Not in a bad way just... a lot. But I did spend several hours giving one last look at my revisions ahead of agent’s reading next week. (How do I keep finding stuff??) And I critiqued pages for my new group so... at least there’s that.
 

polishmuse

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ShouldBe, that's all good stuff! Sorry for the tough week!

I'm on the last 1/3 of the book and somehow had two huge ideas of tweaks that will make the ending shine. Which is so rare, because endings are almost impossible for me, I'd rather just keep writing lol. Funny how it came after so many drafts, but that is life!
 

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I highly recommend participating in pitch fest offered by various websites on the net. As I said above, I did pitmad last weekend and ended up with five agents asking to see my work. They have been queried and since I put pitmad in the subject line I know, well, I'm told at least, that this will guarantee that the actual agent, rather than an admin, will see my work. Then, this past week I did the pitchfest on Savvy Authors site with four of my books. They send out an email listing which agent requested which work and that's not out yet, but I have received 7 personal emails requesting that I query and send between 1-3 chapters on the books I pitched. I went ahead and queried the book that that I was actually planning on releasing on Amazon KDP next month. Think I may hold off on that a bit because I pitched that book to four agents on Savvy Author and all four have requested a query and chapters.

Rereading my first paragraph, this all sounds a little bit braggadocious. Please don't take it that way. I really just wanted to tell people that pitchfests seem to get more interest from agents than random querying does. I've had no luck with random querying which is why I was ready to go Indie with Amazon. And, I'm still going to try indie because I've convinced myself it may be the way to go. But if I can get an agent for any of my stories, I want to do that as well and I figure most other people feel the same so I just wanted to share that pitchfest does get attention. Don't know yet if it will actually land me an agent, but I'll keep you informed.

In the meantime, I highly recommend pitchfests. :)
 

polishmuse

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Finished editing the book and sent it to agent (phew). It's been... a process. I'm feeling confident, but now begins the wait.
 

ChibiUsagi

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Sent off the edits to dream editor today.

I think they are technically well done but my heart was in and out of it.

Now we wait.

I need morphine please.
 

RaggyCat

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Thanks for the insight, Jjanejayne! And yay, Polish, what a great feeling to be done, and hold onto that confidence! Chibi, welcome, I see you're joining us!

I really need to try to figure out this new idea for the next book I have tomorrow. I suspect the idea as it stands has some issues - namely that I'm trying to cover too much in one story (this is a common issue for me and one I am very mindful of avoidig). New book also involves a plot strand involving consent, but that makes me nervous, as although very topical, relevant and interesting, it's a very thorny issue that needs to be done well. And I'm not sure the rest of the plot gives the consent storyline the breathing space it needs to be done well... only if I take it out, I end up with a far less interesting book... Argh.
 

Jeneral

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Finally updated the spreadsheet after the long weekend. The retreat was productive; I have a beginning I don't entirely hate. It needs some depth added, etc., but that's what second drafts are for. I got a little more work done yesterday and finally hit that groove of "just tell the story in stream-of-consciousness mode and streamline/cut later." So I'm finally, FINALLY, getting a little more confident in this thing. Ugh I hate drafting.
 

januarycomet

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OK OK OK! Paid writing is done. 55 Hour work weeks are paused. And I am off to a retreat this weekend. I'm GOING to put some words on the spreadsheet in the very near future, so help me.

(please...please help me...)
 

ChibiUsagi

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I hope this isn't too off topic but how do you guys write your new stuff when you're waiting to hear on old?

I have this nagging voice telling me I'm rubbish, every word I put on the page is rubbish and I'm going to end up a pathetic wannabe with a drawer full of unsold books.

I like what I'm writing a lot, and the idea has gotten a fair bit of buzz, but writing feels less like a hobby now and more like a means to an end.
 
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RaggyCat

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It sounds like retreats (without Internet) are the way forward - I hope you enjoy yours, January. Jeneral, yep, agree, I think just getting the story down and editing later is the way to go. I know from experience I need to get to about 10k before I really get into the swing of a project. And chapter 1 always gets rewritten a billion times.

I think I'm as planned with new MS as I need to be for now, so... diving in! Eep.

Chibi, for me, the answer is "just soldier through it". Which is unhelpful, I know. I make myself write - even if it's rubbish - by a combination of procrastination/bullying/target setting/sheer bloodymindedness. This thread is helping, too. Ultimately, I think the think that makes me do it is the knowledge that if I do get bad news on a finished MS, the only thing that really makes that blow less bitter is if I'm already in love with and excited by a new project. I had a big blow with the MS before the one I am now querying and I am so thankful I had a new MS on the go when I had the bad news else I dread to think how I'd have felt.

I do sympathise with the writing feeling less like a hobby, and more of a "have to do this". I had this with my second book, and it was faintly terrifying as I mad the transition from just writing for fun to being professional. It permanently changed how I felt about writing. Not in a bad way - I still enjoy it - but it now feels more serious, and I have to think first of my reader rather than myself. (I have no idea if this is helpful or makes much sense, my brain is tired this afternoon).
 

polishmuse

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Chibi, I have to turn off my inner critic and just dive in. The only way I finish something new (working on book 5 now) is not editing anything until I finish a full draft. That's hard for me because I love editing, love perfecting voice and image, and hate feeling like it's not readable by anyone else. I do a rough outline (usually 3-4k, based on the Save the Cat beats) and jump in. My current new project, I even decided to switch POVs from third to first about 10k in and I'm not going back to fix the first 10k until I finish the full draft.

For me, writing while on sub is my lifeline. I wrote the book that got me an agent while querying my first book and the book that will hopefully go on sub this fall while agent subbed the book that didn't sell.
 

ShouldBeWriting

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Chibi, I have to turn off my inner critic and just dive in. The only way I finish something new (working on book 5 now) is not editing anything until I finish a full draft. That's hard for me because I love editing, love perfecting voice and image, and hate feeling like it's not readable by anyone else. I do a rough outline (usually 3-4k, based on the Save the Cat beats) and jump in. My current new project, I even decided to switch POVs from third to first about 10k in and I'm not going back to fix the first 10k until I finish the full draft.

Now THAT is discipline. I had a weak moment yesterday where I thought: “Maybe I’ll go back and edit just the first few chapters.” Bad, writer, bad! I, too, find that editing derails me, especially since I think sometimes I enjoy revision more than writing. Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me.

Anyway, chibi, I second what others have said. I finished revisions for my agent July 29, and jumped into new book on Aug. 1. It was the only thing that kept me from constantly refreshing my email. Not going to lie... first week or so was rough. But now I’m in a mad dash to reach the quarter-way point before I hear back from my agent. (He’s reading now.) Though because I haven’t edited (or even reread) any of the new chapters once I’ve moved onto the next, I’m wondering how terrible it is. Guess it’s better to find that out in revision, right?
 
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polishmuse

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I think sometimes I enjoy revision more than writing. Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me.
Exactly. Revision feels like dessert to me, even when it gives me headaches, I still prefer it to the "eating your vegetables" feel of drafting sometimes.
 

Atlantic12

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I hope this isn't too off topic but how do you guys write your new stuff when you're waiting to hear on old?

I have this nagging voice telling me I'm rubbish, every word I put on the page is rubbish and I'm going to end up a pathetic wannabe with a drawer full of unsold books.

.

Ha, yep, that's me. We're subbing my first book any day now, getting the package together, right? Yesterday I looked at my notes and first 10,000 or so words of my second book, and just thought -- ugh. What is this? What was I thinking? I haven't looked at the stuff in maybe 4 weeks, and it's like utter crap! The synopsis doesn't make sense, the first chapter is weird etc etc

It is so hard to shift from hyper-polishing my finished book to drafting a whole new super-flawed one. I've been wanting to get back to that drafting for ages, but now that I'm (almost) there, I can't do it. I hope I get my mojo back at some point.

On the other hand, I'm getting more housework done.
 

Jeneral

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I'm definitely having a hard time going from finished product to first draft. I told someone over the weekend I was going from putting finishing touches on something to basically writing "Guy cute. Girl pretty." But now that I've written the first couple chapters, the story is starting to take shape, and while I need to backtrack some, I feel like the whole thing is starting to have a little structure. I just have to keep writing through the parts where it feels like my story is a mud-shaped blob of nothing.

It's hard to get into a new thing while you're staring at your inbox. But sometimes it can be the best thing too. Once you get into that new story, it's a great distraction. And when we decided to shelve my first book, it was nice to have a half-finished first draft of something new to be excited about.
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away