Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

“Good writing is rewriting.” - Truman Capote

So ... I agonized all yesterday about my NaNo project. Is it better to get words down on a story that isn't working, just to get my "winner" badge and then have to either toss the entire thing and start over, or edit the H-E-Double-Toothpicks out of it later -or- is it better to set it aside and "moodle" over it awhile to figure out what's working, what isn't and how to make it right?

The clincher for me is this: I hate editing. HATE it with an all-consuming passion. I know it's a necessary evil, but I do my very best to have a relatively clean first draft with all the ducks in as straight a row as possible in order to do as little major editing as possible.

So, "A Jewel For Geoff" is once again shelved. It just wasn't working for me -- the characters didn't have chemistry, the conflict was weak, the plot was all over the place, I couldn't decide if Geoff's parents were dead or not and how that would change things, I couldn't decide if any of the girls had boyfriends, I couldn't decide... well, you get the idea.

It all began to feel like a royal waste of time, and time is simply the one thing I don't have any of to spare.

Instead, I'm rewriting a story (Camilla's story) that I actually have nearly finished and changing two things in the plot to make it work for me and building up the internal conflict between the H/H. I worked on it last night and again this morning, and I'm really excited about it. I like the story, the plot and the characters. I plan on having it done by the end of November -- can that count for NaNo? I'll need a couple folks with good editing eyes who like contemporary light-hearted romance to look it over for me (anyone?), but the plan is to submit to Harlequin American. By end of December.

Am I being unrealistic? I have no idea.

Following THAT, though, I want to get my fantasy done. ASAP.

And after that, I have big plans for "Return to Stiller Creek" which include completely changing "who dunnit" and making the story less reliant on DNA testing -- and, yes, I've figured out how to do that. And, I need to ramp up the suspense. That one I'd like to submit to Harlequin Romantic Suspense.

Hmmm....

Eventually I will return to "A Jewel for Geoff" and to the "Kitchen Matches" sequel. I think about them constantly, so something is going to click in my brain eventually. It always does on the ones that matter.

In other news, I think I have one manuscript that is history -- permanently shelved. That would be "Playing House". With the incredible leaps that technology has taken in the last five or six years, my premise won't work at all. I may recycle the characters though and try to give them a different story (at the very least, I want to use Minerva because I <3 her).

So many ideas, so little time. We won't talk about the other twenty or thirty started manuscripts I have on my hard drive.

===================




You Have a Wild Imagination



You can think or dream anything. You have very vivid and colorful thoughts.

You have a refreshing and bold attitude. People can count on you to be honest.

You are chill to the point of being a little lazy. It's hard for you to get motivated at times.

You are a very thoughtful person. Even when you're resting, your mind is churning a bit.



Except the "chill to the point of being lazy" part, this really fits.

=======================

7 comments:

Maria Zannini said...

I think you're making a very sound decision and your reasons were valid.

I'm with you on the time issue. I tried NaNo once and it just wasn't for me. When I went back to the manuscript there were some good ideas, but I had to rewrite so much of it that I ended up putting it aside and starting over.

The only thing it did was solidify the premise for me. A good outline would have done the same.

PS How was your date night? :)

Marianne Arkins said...

Maria, I've done some amazing stuff with NaNo in the past ("Liv" was a book that all but wrote itself for me during one NaNo), but this one isn't working.

Re: Date Night -- it was good. We needed it ... I think we both realized we haven't taken time to be "just us" in a long, long time. When my mom moved we lost our easy baby-sitter so stopped doing things together alone pretty much.

Dru said...

Sometimes it is best to put a story that's not working away and work on one that will. Sounds like Camilla did that for you. I think it should count towards NaNo.

I'm glad you had a good "date night." Perhaps you can do it at least once a month.

You Are Creative

You are a good problem solver, and you're always coming up with interesting ideas.

You have a witty and snarky attitude. People can count on you to be subtly hilarious.

You are an impatient person at times. You have trouble savoring the moment.

You are a very together person. It's hard to phase you.


This is 90% accurate.

Have a great Wednesday.

Liz Fichera said...

I agree with Dru. Put it aside and work on something else then go back to it. You might think differently about it after you've erased it from your mind for a while. Like you, my hard drive is loaded with half-finished stories!

Brandy said...

If it wasn't working for you, then it is definitely best to shelve it and work on something else for now.
Glad to hear your evening went well!


You Are Creative
You are a good problem solver, and you're always coming up with interesting ideas.
You have a witty and snarky attitude. People can count on you to be subtly hilarious.
You are an impatient person at times. You have trouble savoring the moment.
You are a very thoughtful person. Even when you're resting, your mind is churning a bit.

Pretty accurate. *g*

I hope you have a nice day!

Joanna St. James said...

you heard the experts bench it, there are other MCs that are begging to be heard. Geoff will slink back to tell you his story when he is ready. he is just playing hard to get.

Tori Lennox said...

I agree with everyone else. :)