Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Starting over

funny pictures - The world's most Epic game of ROCK PAPER SCISSORS came to an abrupt stand still when both players figured out they could only play PAPER PAPER er... PAPER?!
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

I can really relate to this LOLcat right now! I haven't been playing Rock, Paper, Scissors, but I have been working on my new proposal. Working hard, actually.

I thought I had finally nailed the first chapter. Yes, it took awhile, but it sometimes does. I was happily moving forward with the next two chapters, writing scenes and polishing old ones. I went back and reread my first chapter.

My first thought was boring. I tweeted that. My second was something was wrong, but I couldn't figure out what.

These weren't the usual "this really sucks" that many writers experience as part of their process. This was something deeper that put a screeching halt to my forward progress. When that happens, it usually means I took a wrong turn somewhere earlier in the story. But here I was in the first three chapters! Yikes!

I hadn't shown any of the writing to anybody just the story idea. I decided I needed a second opinion. Someone else to tell me yes, something is wrong or no, keep going.

Yesterday, Rose and I had lunch with my good friend and Love Inspired Suspense author, Terri Reed. She handed me a print out of my chapter. Verdict—writing was great, but something wasn't right with the first chapter. She had trouble putting a finger on it, but had a few ideas. Turns out it's not a little wrong, either. It's a full rewrite needed wrong. Sigh...

This is when a piece of dark chocolate really comes in handy. Except it's Lent so I had to survive without!

I spent the afternoon and evening trying to figure out a way to fix everything that was wrong. Once I had a fix and how the book should open, I emailed my editor. I explained what was going on with the proposal. This is where the time difference between where I live and London comes in handy. When I woke this morning, I had a reply from her. She was understanding as she always is and gave me some extra time to work on it. She also offered to help so I sent off another email with where I am right now.

After so many sold manuscripts (not to mention a RITA® finalist this year), you'd think I'd be able to get it right the first time. Nope. I wrote a bunch of openings for my upcoming November release Firefighter Under the Mistletoe before finding the one that was right.

With this new manuscript, I'm happy I knew something was off with this one, too. Now I can fix it before submitting the proposal. I wasn't as lucky with Expecting Royal Twins! Progress! Yay! Of course, it only took me how many years and completed manuscripts to get here? LOL!


Sarita said...

While I'm sorry the writing isn't going perfectly from start to finish, I have to admit you've bolstered my spirits. It is a comfort to see that even wonderfully experienced, talented authors have issues. What's even more exciting is that you knew, found the problem and have a fix. Yay!

I hope your rewrite goes well. I can't wait to hear more about this story.

Melissa McClone said...

Thanks Sarita! One reason I posted was for other authors. I know I often think I'm the only one! It's nice to know there are others.

And yes, I'm very happy to know I had a problem myself without having to be told. Fingers crossed it works now! And I'll definitely keep posting about progress on the story!

Brandy said...

I find the writing process fascinating and while I am sorry you had to start over with the first chapter, it's interesting information.
Best wishes for the rewrite!

Marianne Arkins said...

Ditto what Sarita said. Sometimes I think we see multi-published authors and think: They have this writing gig figured out!

And while you may have it more figured out than the rest of us, you're still a work in progress. *G*

Hope things go smoothly from here on out.

Dru said...

I'm glad you share how the story wasn't working and possible solutions.