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Back and Forth

Sometimes, in this business, it feels like you take one step forward then jog a mile back. In addition to dealing with the computer issues, I’ve also been dealing with disappointment in something I did in the current WIP.

I forced a plot point that didn’t work.

When you first get that new, shiny idea, excitement makes your hands burn and you want them on that keyboard. All. The. Time. 

But sometimes,  you take a wrong turn and you instinctively know it, but you’re stubborn and force the issue. Then…you get to the end of that book and you just can’t quite get that ending right and it drives you nuts. As storytellers, we instinctively know when something has gone wrong. It messes with sleep, makes us grumpy. 

So what did I do? I went ahead and let my critique partner take a look, hoping she’d tell me I was wrong. But… I happen to have a CP who knows when a story is off too.  

As you all know, Rachel Vincent, is my critique partner and one promise we made in the beginning was to be honest about the work. She was struggling. She said it was good, but it was missing something and she could tell I had struggled with several scenes. And while she pointed out things here and there, she said one thing that lit up that all important light bulb.

I figured out where I’d gone wrong. I sent her an email and she called, excited because I’d hit the problem and found an excellent solution. We did that talk-too-fast-excited-plot-conversation thing we do and I got off the phone energized.

Unfortunately, it’s a big thing and the next day it hit me.  As you all know, I really want this career and setbacks hurt–especially when they’re of my own making.

But, now I know how to fix and if I’m anything it’s tenacious. 😉

So… Rachel has a strict deadline on her next book and I simply HAVE to make this book as good as I know it can be. We’re going to do another sort of NANO thing here pretty soon. I’ll be cannibalizing some of the good scenes in Unnatural Selection, but now there will be another POV and a few other more gritty details the book desperately needs.

There’s one thing I’ve learned that when you do jog back to the beginning, yeah, you might sit and take a breather… but it’s better if you get up as soon as you can and sprint back.

By the way, Dame Jackie Kessler posted something similar at our Deadline Dames site yesterday. This happens to us all–no matter how long we’ve been writing or how much we’ve published. The important thing is to not give up and fix the problem. 🙂


  1. February 17, 2011    

    Ack, that sucks. I hate finding I’ve gone off-course in a WIP. But figuring out where and how to get back on track is just another facet of writing. And at least you’ve got an honest and supportive critique partner–that is crucial.

    Good luck on revisions!

  2. February 17, 2011    

    Thanks. I’m going to need them. 🙂

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