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Patience

Originally published at Joely Sue Burkhart. You can comment here or there.

Here’s a question for you:

Is a “high concept” (oh, how I loathe thee) idea still considered high concept if a similar–but still different–idea has been recently released? Of course, in my writer’s arrogance, I believe my idea is way cooler than this other and couldn’t even get 50 pages into it, but part of my mind says, “don’t even bother now.” I know there are no new ideas, but there are fresh takes on ideas, and my fresh take has wilted a little beneath the harsh reality of this other release.

On to patience. I’m a strong believer that when one door closes, there was a very definite reason that door closed and another open door that I’m meant to find merely waits ahead. However, I don’t always have the patience I should. Yesterday, I really had to fight back my urge to immediately shoot out some agent queries on my project that got shot down. Only one no definitely does not mean the end of the road for this project, if I can get the execution right. The only weakness flagged in the “Dear Author” letter was pacing. Pacing I can fix by shuffling some scenes around and making something even worse happen in the “duller” scene I was using to establish character.

I revamped my query. I thought it was a really strong query. I wanted to send it so bad. Just one time, to someone I know could give a response in as little as 24-48 hours (”good” responses take much longer, but that form reject flies back quickly). But remember, I told myself, there’s only one chance to make a good first impression. ONE CHANCE. If she says no, then 20% of my A-list is gone. Is that a risk I’m willing to take already?

Then I’m back to the move and how much Revision Hell I still have to get through. If a positive request came through, am I sure I could fix the pacing issue in the first three chapters? Absolutely sure? When I still have a lot of other revisions to smooth? I know I could get the whole manuscript turned around quickly — but is that in my best interest, both my sanity and the project’s? This could be a big project…if I don’t screw it up.

Yet that big ticking clock keeps hammering away in my head, especially when I think about that other similar project…

So I gritted my teeth and resisted the urge to send a query flying out. I got up early this morning for a change. And what do you know–I found a few more minor tweaks to tighten my query I thought was so fab yesterday.

So I hereby solemnly swear not to submit any queries until I get this second pass completely finished, which will give me time to tweak for a THIRD time if any requests for material come trickling in.

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