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:~: Monday, June 20, 2005 :~:

Old Manuscripts, Selling, and The One That Gets You There

Probably the one RWR article that gets me going is the First Sale column. I mean, come on, I hope to be there soon. So I'm always curious "who's" making it now. And while I'm usually excited to read it, I'm generally depressed after having done so.

So and so announces her first sale. This was the first manuscript she finished. She has been writing for one year.

Well, gee. That makes me feel spiffy.

So and so announces her first sale. This was the second manuscript she finished. She has been writing for twelve years.

Now here's where my brow creases and my eyes cross. Does that mean it took her twelve years to write two manuscripts? Or has she written umpteen-million manuscripts since and number two was the first that sold? I usually walk away from the First Sold column scratching my head for various reasons.

The topic of first sales and old manuscripts recently came up on the RWC list. And having read through most of the responses, I walked away with the feeling that moving ahead with new work is generally more productive than going back and reworking old manuscripts. Several published authors said they just "knew" when they had the manuscript that was "it". That they had found their voice and knew that was the one that would get them there.

But tell me do you know when you have THE ONE?

I recently reworked an old manuscript. And while I dreaded it from the get-go, the rewrite went so much faster than I ever expected. Once I started writing, the flow was there, the characters came alive and the plot laid itself out for me. Does that mean I've found my voice? Who knows. I do like the result of that rewrite, and I've received great feedback from everyone who's read it. But does that mean it's THE ONE?

No clue. I'm only starting to query that manuscript now. Time will tell, I guess.

I also know my writing is better with my WIP than it was in my last few manuscripts. (If the big red marks from my cp's are any indication...I'm getting less and less of those with each crit. And damn it, I am learning how to use a comma correctly! LOL). The mechanics of writing are easier, the scenes pop into my head faster. But in the midst of the process, I often feel like I'm writing drivel. Only when a cp says, "no, this is good," do I think, "okay, maybe I'm starting to get it". But does that mean I've found my voice?

No clue. If anything, I think I'm only more confused.


Blogger Paty Jager said...

Hi Eli-
Well I shake my head too at the first sold column. and wonder what people will think when I say, this is my first sale after writing 8 books! But I know with each one, I learned a little more about craft, I dug a little deeper within myself and I keep thinking I found my voice. I knew the book three books ago was THE one! And now I hate it! There is too much that needs fixed in it. But the next to last one I felt flowed and the voice was well done. Several rejections and waiting to hear from some editors on it. This last one that I just finaled in a contest, has been the book of my heart! I love the characters, the setting, the story, the voice, but I am struggling to get it long enough!! And a book I thought I finished 4 books ago, I brought out fell in love with it all over again and am pushing it to and editor. So who knows!

I did get your e-mail about PSP having your manuscript. She has been in my top five Agent picks for a while. Has turned me down a few times. And I didn't even try to get her at Nationals because they didn't have Paranormal checked by her name! I guess I should have looked closer at who was judging this contest and I'd have known! LOL

Good luck to you with PSP. I've heard good things about her!

10:41 AM  
Blogger Piper Lee said...

You're right Eli, it is very confusing. Stop reading about it! LOL

When I first decided that I needed to write or I was going to blow a gasket I learned as much as I could about my favorite authors.

It was SO intimidating to find out how they were just "overnight successes". They just decided to write a book because they read a romance novel and thought, "I can do that" then the next thing they knew they were NYT Best Sellers!

Well, that is just not true. It can't be. There has to be more to it than that and you and Paty are on that path right now. You have gained so much experience and you're paying your dues by the way you serve fellow writers in different capacities and that you work at your dreams everyday. You will be published soon because of what you have put into it already.

What you put out there comes back to you. It really does. Good or bad.

Keep on doing what you're doing. You're working hard and your work will pay off. I love MB and WFM. I can't wait for Paty's FMM to be finished so I can read it too.

You two just hang in there and don't let anything get you down. You are good at what you do and it will be recognized.

I'm sending good vibrations to the universe from my heart and soul for both you girls! I'll give it the double whammy!

1:19 PM  
Blogger Linda Winfree said...

You are going to get it. You'll be in that first sales column, soon. I know it. I believe it, I have faith.

And that column drives me nuts, too.

Talking about having a MS that gave you "The One" feeling . . . I have one. And if I tell you which one it is, you'll ROFLYAO. ;-)

5:35 PM  

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