Book Reviews / Querying

Frolicking Backwards

Thanks to the generous advice of a couple friends, my query letter now seems to be in decent shape. I can’t express how much I appreciate their help. Now if I only had a novel to query for.

I suffered a setback this week. A friend kindly informed me of a problem with my manuscript. A big problem. I can fix it… but it will take a complete rewrite to do so.  Well, I’m probably exaggerating now.  Mainly I’ll be tweaking here and there, and maybe rewriting a few scenes.  But I will have to reread every word and make sure it fits the new tone of the book.  At this point I’m optimistic and assuming that the book will even work after I make the changes.  Too soon to tell for sure.

The problem with my manuscript?  Maybe I’ll talk about it at some point, but not today.  To be honest, I’m still rather embarrassed that I didn’t see the problem sooner.  I should have done more research. 

Anyway, it looks like I won’t be querying and writing Book 2 by Oct. 1st.  This is actually the first writing goal I’ve set for myself that I didn’t meet (short-term goal, I mean.  The jury is still out concerning the long-term goals).  I guess I was due for a failure, huh?  Failure is too harsh of a word though; it’s more like a change of plans.  I haven’t decided yet how I’m going to handle this, or whether or not I’ll set a new deadline for myself. I’ve spent the last couple days questioning myself and the book, and re-evaluating my writing goals.  I felt a little stressed; so instead of writing in my free time, I read a book, watched the sunset, caught up on emails, and chatted with Syd.  I tried to gain some perspective.  I even briefly considered taking a break from Book 1, as if that would solve the problem.  I thought about my other novel ideas and looked at a short story contest.  

But my mind kept drifting back to Book 1.  

I can’t just abandon it.  It was tempting for about a day, but now all I want is to get back to work.  Maybe, if I can pull off the rewrite, the story will be better than ever. Maybe.  I have to try, right?  I feel like I’ve come too far to turn back now.  

The upside to all this?  I greatly prefer discovering the problem now instead of after I queried.  Who knows how many rejections I would have received, how much time I would have wasted??    

On another positive note, I just finished The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen, which came highly recommended by Vic and Sav.  They were right, of course–I loved it! Dessen excels at themes; she made it look so easy. Everything was connected somehow, like a big circle. She used symbols and images, even characters and dialogue to convey themes, which really impressed me. She made every thought, word, and picture count.  I especially loved the characters, who were so real and well-rounded. Wes is one of my all-time favorite characters now.  🙂  

So, this is me, trying to see the good things in a challenging week.  How about all of you?  Any good or bad news?  Hope everyone had a smooth week–or if there were bumps, at least maybe your suspension’s not shot.  Happy Friday!

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