I got back the rest of my Genesis contest scores early this week and am somewhat amused by how much of a mixed bag they are. Looking at the averages, I don’t think I was really close to finaling in either Romance or Women’s Fiction.
Some things I already knew. For instance, that writing in first person present tense isn’t the most popular way to go. Somehow that’s how Dottie’s story came to me. Other comments on that story asked about the central conflict in the story. Ouch. But valid. I’ve been writing again on this novel through the month of May and, as before, she only comes in fits and starts. Advice to the wise? Don’t submit to the contest if all you’ve written is a partial! (I knew that, and did it anyway. I mean, it’s not in the rules or anything, just common sense.) So for now, Dottie’s files are closed. When she’s ready to play nice, I’ll be happy to talk to her again. She’s shut down on me three times before and always come back a few months later with some new bright ideas, so we’ll likely see her again.
Chloe’s story (contemporary romance) had nearly as varying scores as Dottie’s. But I’ve written two full drafts of this novel, plus another edit pass and she’s out for critique now. I’m expecting her home about the end of June, so plan to go through all the Genesis contest notes plus the crit notes and do another pass over the summer. I understand the reasons she didn’t final. Some of them are fixable, and some of them are so deeply woven into the core of the story that they’re not. But either way, I’m giving her my best shot. I want to take her to conference with me in September and pitch her novel, so I have a clear understanding (or will have, when the crits are back) of how to approach another revision pass.
Meanwhile, I DID final in spec fic. And that novel is definitely coming to conference as well. I finished the revisions of it some time ago, so now I’m reading back through and seeing if it holds together as well as I remember. I’ve totally put it out of mind for nearly a year, so I’m seeing issues (so far, minor) that need dealing with. I’ve had an offer for another crit on it as well (It’s been out twice before), so I’ll kick it out before Chloe gets back.
In all my spare time, I’m working on a new series. I rarely remember my dreams, but I had a cool one a couple weeks ago in which I went to conference, pitched a specific series to a particular publisher, and they bought it. When I woke up, I remembered the premise of the series, and it was good. Definitely saleable in the right hands. Now, whether my current skills are enough to pull it off, I don’t know, but it seems a gift, and I’d be crazy not to accept it and do my best.
I’m using the lessons from How to Think Sideways online writing course by Holly Lisle (which I took last fall) to work through the steps of pulling the idea together. I’m more excited about it every day.
What are you working on these days?
Dona Watson says
It’s interesting to hear your take on the Genesis results. I laughed when I read “Don’t submit to the contest when all you’ve written is a partial.” I did finish the novel I submitted, but…I hadn’t finish the revisions yet. Yeah, I hang my head a bit in guilt. So, first I’ll be finishing my revisions and then moving on to a new world.
Love your web site!
Thanks for stopping by, Dona! Every other entry I’ve put in (five entries total over three years) has had at least a completed first draft behind it. This one I just took a chance on. (One judge gave it a 91…the others…didn’t.)
Ooh, good luck with the new series. It sounds exciting!
As for that last question . . . you probably don’t want to see the current to-do list. 😉