Halo, fine people! Welcome to First Wednesday and the Insecure Writer's Support Group!
My regular readers will know because I announced in my Monday Whiny Baby Blog, but for anyone who missed it, my agent fired me.
Okay. Fired is sort of too strong.
She doesn't want What Ales Me though, and doesn't think she's the agent for me. And I'd been so sure What Ales Me was very close to publishing ready, which means I don't know what the heck I'm doing. I am producing dreck and I feel useless.
|Tara, Jess, Leanne, Me (front to back)|
I have a writer friend who has been with me from the beginning—she has read everything I've ever done and has edited for me as well as providing good feedback, so when I got the disheartening email from Ellen, I forwarded it to Leanne and asked for honest feedback.
There WERE problems...
Now while this isn't the news I wanted... I WANTED her to say “Oh, that agent doesn't know what she's talking about”... It was the news I needed. And it was accompanied by (*wipes brow*) some of my STRENGTHS as a writer.
I plot well.
My ideas are unique and strong.
What was problematic...
My actual language is pretty utilitarian (I know this—have actually sort of prided myself on my language not getting in the way of the story, but I have perhaps gone too far)
And she suggested that I am over-editing—losing my voice, which USED TO be one of my strengths, but she didn't really see it in this and has previously seen it in stuff that gets too many passes.
She suggests I read more in my TRADITIONALLY PUBLISHED genre. No offense to self-pubbing or pre-published, but I need to know what the bench marks are for good current work.
And that I maybe slow down a bit so not so many rounds of editing are needed and more of my original voice is retained.
My own addition... I think I may need to DIAGRAM my mysteries (the ones I do this for work out best) and have more plot points on my timeline. I ALSO think I need to do more longhand—those scenes are always best, so I really need more of them.
Here is to the light at the end of the tunnel. I was feeling pretty lost there for a while, but now I feel a spark of hope. I don't suck. I just picked up some bad habits...
For all of you... find someone who both LOVES you and your writing (and gets what you are trying to do) AND can be objective and tell you hard truths.
Now you should go support some OTHER writers... (link at the top)