Sunday, August 22, 2010

You Want the WHOLE THING Rewritten?!!



The upshot of this weekend's critique of my novel by an agent, publishing editor, and writing instructor is: It's lovely writing, but change everything.

Change the main character.

Change the plot.

Change the opening.

Change the motivations.
Start from SCRATCH!
Yikes!

This morning I'm watching the gray ocean from the balcony of my temporary condo, and I'm laughing.

So essentially I asked these people, What do you think about my book?

And they said, Write a different book.

And I'm thrilled!

Like everyone else who's an ordinary writer, I know when my work needs work and even when I'm happy with something, I sense it could be better. I spent my career editing things.

But sometimes the mechanics of HOW and WHAT elude me. That's what I've got this weekend. The what and the how, from people who sell books and people who read them.

Nobody told me I'd be better off in a different line of work. That's a relief!

22 comments:

Von said...

Change to self publishing? Nice cat!

the walking man said...

If it was great then they would be paying you money to
A) Publish it

B) Take and advisory paying role at the conference.

And even if it is perfect they still need your fees so they have to tell you what you went there to hear. Criticism.

TechnoBabe said...

So they like the main idea idea just not the plot. They like having a main character, just not this one. They want a different opening. And would you change the reasons you show the old main character does things which would automatically change when you introduce the new main character with the new plot. Whew.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

WOW! That give's the opportunity for a whole new perspective and experience, it's quite the challange gauntlet thrown down.

izzy said...

Oh My ! I wrote a novel too- too many characters...too many side stories.
I could chop it down, but I would rather not.
That is when I started
self-publishing my writing. Now I print small numbers at a time.
It is one thing to get help from others, quite another to turn over your creative process, entirely!

Marion said...

I love your cat! I appreciate the criticism I get, but I'm still intending on self-publishing.

They said it was lovely writing...and I completely believe that...I'll bet your book is amazing! Your writing has me spellbound.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

My life as an admissions counselor follows this axiom too...since every semester the political structure seems to change we just change the outline and keep the structure...I know this not from writing but I can say this....my life over the years has definitely changed much in the same manner and it was recovery that gave me the tools to not melt down and instead to melt into the changes and the love...thank you for the brilliant reminder and I know you're up to the challenge...with all my heart!

The Bug said...

Well, I could have told you that you're in the right line of work :)

I like that they didn't pat you on the head & make you go away. You have something they think is worth exploring. Get to it woman!

Monkey Man said...

You've got the guts to write and ask for the critisism. More than most of us do.

Shakespeare said...

Maybe writing something else will allow you to go back to this one some day (with more insight) and make it what it should be.

Nothing's wasted, though. Nothing.

Brian Miller said...

eh, take it and roll...a good crit is hard to find...

Indigo said...

Aha! I got the same accessment on my first book. In the end I was trying to hard to leave me out of the book, when the book needed my voice, my unique perspective to begin with.

The more words, the more pages we write, the better we become. (Hugs)Indigo

Magpie said...

Your attitude seems just about right. Take what advice you value and move on. Remember, it is your book!

Titus said...

I'm with Brian above. Listening to others is integral to all work. You can choose whether you hear or not, but this says "opportunity" to me!

Argent said...

I sent a short story for assessment once, and they cane back with loads of this type of thing. Cut that scene, don't include that type of language, etc. The thing is, can you accommodate their requests without totally damaging your book? Are they going to definitely publish if you jump through all the hoops?

Syd said...

It is hard for me not to get the anxiety in my stomach when I get such comments. I fear rejection. One of my character defects. Glad that you can laugh. It is a challenge but with a good perspective as you have, possible to start over.

C.M. Jackson said...

you can do it--criticism is good and the ability to edit is even better!! Take your time,keep wiriting and you will find your way

Scott said...

lol, glad they didn't encourage you to find a new line of work, not that you'd have listened, you know better :-)

Fragrant Liar said...

Yeeeeeaaaaahhhh. I feel you big time. Hang in there. If you believe in the story, make the changes. Be persistent. Stay optimistic.

Hope said...

Oh Lordy. You know I know this one. All I can say is that it was worth it to listen to the advice and change everything even though it was the scariest prospect to do so.

You can do this. You can. You will.

marie said...

Easy Does It.

Georgina Dollface said...

That's a really good way of looking at it! I think it is great that you are out there sharing your work and getting feedback. At least you've got something to work with! - G

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