Monday, March 1, 2010

But Why Her?

Confession time: I didn't complete all of my writing goals this month -- I got through the novel manuscript and spent a whole week on that synopsis, queries, and contest entries instead of throwing it on paper and sending it out in less than a day, as I'd expected.

Yeah, you can stop guffawing now; I get the point. Another case of high hopes and crushing realities. Lesson learned, bemoaned, bechocolated*, and noted: I cannot "expect" a synopsis and query blurb to pour onto the paper like a caramel fondue.

Regardless of how delicious that goal may sound in my head.

By February 28th, I was supposed to be through 13k in revisions for my steampunk novella--and here I sit, still re-outlining and tightening scenes without counting words. Why? Because one day last month, during a lovely day of simply making sure my character headed out in the direction I wanted her to go, one of my critique partners asked me: "Why her? Why would the bad guys approach her over anyone else? What makes her unique?"

Which is the same path of evil, diabolical questioning she had the nerve to pose toward my last manuscript. The catalyst for my major revision round at the beginning of this year.

I hate it.

I hate it because she was absolutely right. The motivations I had for the bad guys weren't strong enough, the backstory for the character was iffy, and it just fell flat on the page. She was absolutely right then, and she's absolutely right now: I'm missing something crucial.

Until that motivation drives to the forefront of my inner editor's attention for the next round of novella revisions, I will work out the issue in notes and strengthen other scenes more thoroughly. That way, when I figure it out, I can immerse myself in flowing manuscript instead of broken prose.

*Bechocolate: Verb: To delicately sip an indulgent pint of hot cocoa and marshmallows (most likely with a thin mint cookie in the bottom of the mug) in an effort to sweeten the bitter taste of disappointment.

1 comment:

haricot vert said...

Eh, you aren't the only one who didn't quite hit the goal post during February. But you got a heckuvalot done anyhow. So pls pls pls celebrate that. :)