Point of View

First thank you Dee for the NaNo banner. I’m going to copy it here when I have a longer period with Internet. Hopefully next week.

I’ve put my Nano Book, affectionately known as George’s story, on hold while I do rewrites on the book I pitched in New Jersey. An editor said she’d be interested in seeing it again if I rewrote it. She also mentioned some areas where it needed work. I was going to wait until January and until after I finished G’s book but my CherryBomb friends McB and Dee advised me to get right on it since the editor had expressed interest. They were as usual correct.

So last week I printed out the version I’d sent to the editor. I saw exactly what she and McB (who read it for me) had pointed out as problems. Point of View is a biggie as is description. So last week I labored over the first part of the book. And had a marvelous idea and made changes, worked on POV and description of the setting. Then I printed it back off Sunday night, and gave it to my DH to read. I assured him that there wasn’t any romance in that part and begged for feedback. He actually read through it and identified some areas that were confusing, some typos and grammer issues but on the whole liked it.

But I reread it while he was. And the POV isn’t right. Everytime I rewrite the thing it gets worse not better. At least that was my feelings that night. I hoped it was because I was tired and frazzled. But every time I started looking at it on Monday and Tuesday, I felt sick and discouraged. Not that I got much time to look at it. Monday, I spent all day at the house fretting over what had and hadn’t been done while I waited for FedEx to deliver the check from the mortgage company that had to then be delivered to the builder. And I obsessed over where the furniture would go when we moved back in and whether the changes we’d had them make in the house were good ones. Tuesday, I had an appointment to get my mop of hair cut and colored and then had to run the kids around. But I could have made time to write. In fact, I did write some Tuesday afternoon while I was waiting to pick up the kids from school.

I tried writing the first scene from the first person POV and then switched it. That was a suggestion in one of the craft books I’d been reading over the last week. Which one escapes me at the momen. And it started clicking. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to write since then. Little things like supervising my youngest do his homework. I found out Monday afternoon that he hasn’t been turning in or completing the assignments I thought he had done. Taking my middle son to work out and for his bass lesson. Applying for loans. Drs appointments. Running the check to the contractor and spending an hour and a half discussing the house with him. Appointment at the bank about money for said house. The youngest’s string concert which conflicted with the oldest’s wrestling so I didn’t get to see him wrestle. And win. Then today I had to come down to the cottage to take care of the cats for the week, pay bills and collect the info we have filed here that the bank needs. And of course the Christmas shopping, wrapping, decorating (bare minimal this year).

This sounds like a pity party but it isn’t. Except for the house stuff, it’s what mom’s and dad’s always have to balance. If I was trying to work a full time or even a part time (paying) job right now, I’d be insane. And probably fired. And this brings me right back to POV. From my POV, I’m peddling as fast as I can and frustrated that I don’t have more time available to write. And I thought about my friends who are balancing family, house, jobs, church and volunteer work and trying to write. They’re peddling as fast as they can and frustrated at the lack of time to write.
But we are squeezing it in where and when we can. Yes we may have to take a break for the holidays or a deadline at work or a family member’s illness or a house remodel. And every single one of us is pinched and pulled.

Realizing this helped me take a deep breath and relax. Looking at things from a different POV helped me put what I have to/want to/hope to do in perspective. I don’t have to have this book revised before the end of the month. What I do have to do is try and get the revisions right. And that’s going to take time. Maybe I won’t get it right now. Maybe when I finish the revisions and submit the book again, the editor will say nope not what I’m looking for or that it still needs major work. Rushing and agonizing between now and Dec. 30th won’t guarantee, she’ll like it or want it or offer for it. That’s reality. Reality is that I may never sell this book. Reality is that all the reworking I’ve done on it over the past eight months has lowered the scores I’ve gotten in contests. Reality is I may not know enough about the craft of writing to do this story justice at this point in time.

So what should I do? Give up? No. I won’t. I’ll rewrite it and resubmit it. Because I love the story. Because having an editor express interest in seeing a rewrite is not something that happens every day. Especially with a first book. If I give up now, I am letting down my characters, my story and myself. It would be so easy to give up. If I’ve learned anything in the past year, it’s that writing is damn hard work. Writing well is even harder. Kind of like raising children or keeping a marriage healthy and happy.

So here’s the plan. I’m going to squeeze out time to rewrite. It will be done when it’s done. It will be as good as I can make it and I’ll send it back off. Then I’ll use what I’ve learned to rewrite the second book in the series. And I’ll keep on going to workshops and talks and reading craft books.

I may never sell these two books. That’s reality. If I put them aside and move on to something new, I certainly won’t sell them. If I’m ever to succeed as a writer, I have to put my work out there and try to sell it. I have to accept the rejections and the critisism, work on improving the books, send them off and then move on to the next one. That’s you George. I’m going to get back to you but Mike and Joey need my attention first.

3 Responses to “Point of View”

  1. Sheryl Says:

    I like your attitude. You can’t sell something that isn’t done. And you have talent so make the time to finish those books. But also make the time to breathe. You’re more important than all of it.

  2. McB Says:

    The reality is that you will sell that story, but right now you are too distracted to settle back into that world. I only wanted you to work on because there was interest, but if that’s not where your head is now, take a break. You’ll know when the time is right because Mike and Joey will be right there telling you to get ON WITH IT already.

    And personally I didn’t have a problem with the old POV but if it helps you get a fresh eye on the story, go with it.

  3. dee Says:

    You’re so talented, and I can’t wait until I get that call (on my working cell phone, thankyouverymuch!) that says “Dee, I SOLD IT!!”. Then, you and me and McB will meet up again for many more pitchers of sangria, and another totally wonderful day, and toast your brilliance. It WILL happen. If you have half as much faith in yourself as I have in you, trust me – it WILL happen!

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