Thursday, December 17, 2009

Either I'm fabulously brilliant...or really really stupid....

I can't decide which.

Either I take a huge risk and follow my heart and the inspiration that has struck me....or go the safe yet boring route.

Basically....what happened was....a fantastic story idea burst into my brain the other night (I blogged about it here, I couldn't sleep till I wrote it down and the opening scene). Today I finally got down to adding a file to my idea folder in my computer. I wrote the beginning scene and kept on writing. I did not want to stop. Ideas flooded my brain with where to take this story. I typed a quick outline. I turned off the computer and got ready to go out for the evening with my family...more ideas came to me..I jotted them in a notepad. I haven't been this excited and inspired in almost three years...since I started my second novel...the entire 70,000 words that poured out of me in about three months time. The novel that I fell madly, deeply, in love with and finally found a home for it this past summer.

But the timing is so so awful.

I got an email from my editor a few days ago. She will be emailing me my first round of copy edits within the week.

But that's not really the biggest dilemma.

I am attending The Write Stuff conference the end of March. There will be agents there...several of them. I will get the chance to pitch to one of them. I NEED a polished novel to take with me.

Up until today, I was working on a POV change for my third novel, 1st to 3rd. It was a major undertaking but aside from being time consuming, it wasn't as annoying as I'd imagined. It was going well. I had tons of time to do it and have the story perfected by the conference. But this story is...just........there. I love the first chapter, but the rest just has no sizzle. I like the has many endearing qualities, but I never felt the intensity I do for my other novel and the new one. And I don't know how to make it sizzle. I don't know what to do to it to make it something that an agent just HAS to have. I know the story has problems...I've had it out on submission to a good 50 agents not even one partial request. My hope was that a POV change would help.....but my fear is that it needs major work...and I don't have a clue where to even begin. I am in quite a predicament.

Do I take the my little tushie off and complete and perfect a novel in just over 3 months time??? (It is doable...I figured I can write it in 2 months, I would only need about 1300 words a day...completely doable when I am in ultra creative mode- added 30,000 words to my WIP in 3-1/2 weeks time once. People do NaNo every year and do 50,000 in one month.) Then I'd need to edit my heart out the last month.


Do I stick with what I have? I can easily finish the POV switch and clean up the rest. As far as fixing whatever is wrong with it and giving it some sizzle...well.....I just don't know about that. You have to know what's wrong before you can fix something.

Would it be the end of the world if I try option 1 and fail??? No. It's my first conference ever so if I just go and observe, that would be okay too.

So what would you do?? Go with your gut and take a risk.....or stay safe and try to fix what you already have?????


  1. That's a tough decision. I think you should choose whichever book you think will get an agent's attention the most.

  2. wow you are in a predicament. :( I wish I could tell you what to do with confidence. However I can't, but I can say you will do what you choose with confidence and the very best of your ability, won't you? :0)

    I don't have a deadline looming, so it's a bit different, but I started a new WIP after nano cuz I was sick of that nano project! But I keep thinking about it and I can't concentrate very well on my current WIP. I'm thinking of going back and doing my edits and revisions more aggressively and writing in the new WIP when I have time. I just don't feel passionately enough about this new one.

  3. I think you've sort of made your decision... you've figured out how to write a new novel in two months, what kind of dedication it will take, and given yourself time for editing.

    Will it be a hard task? Obviously. But it seems to be what you know is right!

  4. I'm with Megan on this. You've clearly already made your choice, and now all you're looking for is justification for it.

    In other words ... go with the risk!

  5. Go with your gut! You know you want to, we know you want to, and you CAN DO IT. Set your mind to do it, and write, write, write. We're here for support and all the cheerleading you can handle! ;-)

  6. Thanks for your thoughts everyone!

    After a not so good night's sleep....I'm not nearly as confident as I was last night. I'm afraid if I take this on...something will suffer.

    I'm sitting here right son is napping..this is my writing time and I have NO clue which file I should open.

    Man...where's the Fairy Godmother person when you need her...can't someone just come down and tell me..."this" is what you need to do and it will work out spectacularly!

  7. Stephanie, Do agents look at very many pages at these conferences? From what I hear, they don't. I think you could easily polish the 20-50 page excerpt of either book, maybe even both in the few months you have. As for the copy edits, I guess I would personally prioritize that just because it would give your new idea some time to settle in. I'm always suspicious of myself when I get super-excited about something. Maybe that says more about me than anything.

  8. Davin, I really have no clue. This is my first conference and will be my first time being face to face with a real life agent. I'm sure I will be crazy nervous, so matter what I bring, I will probably screw up the pitch anyway!! LOL!!

    But seriously.... copy edits will be my top priority so I'm sure that means I won't have the time I need to devote to a new project. If I didn't have a 2 year old to take care of and had 8 hours a day to just write, yeah, then it would be doable. Looks like I will stick to my original plan...which doesn't really make me happy either.

  9. That's a really tough decision. If you think you might be able to churn out a novel in three months, I think the risk might well be worth it. It's easier to make time for something you're excited about! Maybe go the practical route until you get the edits back, and next week you can get a feel for how time consuming the edits are going to be, and what you can tackle?

  10. I know I could do it...probelm is I'm not sure how much time I will need to devote to edits (this is all completely new to me). Then I'm afraid that I'll get the new novel written but not have the time to polish it.

    I might see how far I can get doing both...for now anyway.