Friday, October 16, 2009

Crit won't get me down...

It's a funny thing. Seems after I get a positive experience, a negative one happens. LOL.

Well, no biggie.
For some reason my old query letter review post resurfaced on Absolute Write. People were reviewing a query that had been changed for awhile. I explained that my query is waiting until I get my book further sorted out and thanked them for their opinions.

Then another post from March resurfaced. I posted my 1st chapter at the password protected Share Your Work section of Absolute Write back in March as well. Got mixed results and some good advice. Well today, out of the blue, some one ripped it a new one in such a way as to make me want to chuck the 1st chapter (what would that be? The 5th or 6th version of the 1st chap?) and write another brand new one.

Or I could cut straight to them marching into the woods and the action.
Or I could gut big sections of the entire book and expand the Salem chap.
I'm already going through a crisis in faith as to what my novel needs as seen in earlier posts.

Memories of that E-Pub rejection resurfaces. After what that surprise review of Chap 1 said, it's no wonder I was told it read like a rough draft.

Memories of past critique partners telling me to shelf Annabelle and write something else resurfaces. I should do that, too.

So am I freaking again? Nope. Sounds like it but no. With those eager faces still in my mind (from my speaking engagement this afternoon at the school), I'm forging ahead.

I've just had so many regular folk read and edit that I'm lost. I don't know if I'm coming or going. I really need to look at what should go, what should stay, what should be rewritten and if the entire first book should be scrapped and I should start over.

Guess that's why I need a pro editor to give me an opinion I can trust. I'm not saying I can't trust fellow first time unpublished authors. I'm not saying I can't trust friends, co-workers, family or e-published authors. I'm not saying I shouldn't trust critique groups or betas or teachers.

All I'm saying is that for five years I've heard what feels like a thousand voices shouting their opinions (some well learned, others deeply felt) in my brain and all I know is that I've always known nothing.

But despite this, I'm not quitting. I'll keep going and pushing. There are things I do know.

1)If I stop writing Book 2 with two chapters left, I may never go back and I wont have the same momentum. This has to be done. Once finished I can shelf Book 2 till I'm ready (if ever) for it.

2)I still believe in this book, this series and these characters. I still have my passion and I know this will work. I truly do. I know it has to work and it will. I just don't know how.

3)I honestly need a learned opinion on the best way to market Annabelle. I'm all mixed up. My ideas and concepts gain interest, but either how I'm executing them or how the 1st Chap is showing them is wrong. Is the whole book wrong? Is it the newest version of chap 1? Should I cut to the smallest version of book 1 and add more in the history dept? Should I shelf it and start later in their lives? Tell something different about them? How will this start? I need someone who understands the market and what truly is "wrong" instead of their opinion of it.

4)I should take that break everyone is telling me about. I should begin Myths or my time travel novel or something completely different. I know in my bones I can't stay away too long, but it would only help.

So there you go. I don't want answers and I'm not stressed or mad. Just need several things done.

Spoke to another class

Today I had the opportunity to speak with a class of 8th graders about my novel. They really enjoyed my visit.
I started out by showing them pics of my main characters and some settings. I then explained the story for the first book. I sat down and read part of chapter 27 (Salem) and then asked for questions.

Right away the kids said they liked it and then asked several things about my writing experience and the novel itself. The only questions I had a hard time with are the following;
"When will it get published?"
I stated a hopeful goal but I'm of course unsure. They seemed alright with that.
"What did you think of Salem when you walked through it?"
He thought I actually went there to observe. I had to explain that everything I've learned has been from books and study but I'd like to one day visit.

It was a wonderful experience and I can't wait till the time when I actually can share it with a wide audience.