The new writing perspective

It’s been almost two months since I didn’t work on my thriller novel. Some fellow blog readers may know that I’ve been working on it quite a while, since last year most specifically. After I finished it, I gave it to a couple of beta readers, and then passed it to my editor. I got the book ready. I pitched it at Writer’s Digest conference in New York and I got the attention of seven literary agents. I sent the requested material to them and got four rejection replies already. The three remaining never replied. But the harsh truth is the book wasn’t ready. It wasn’t yet.

This is my first book, my first attempt, and you can tell I’ve been impulsive with it. I’ve fallen into the most frequent mistake most amateur writers do. I knew how important it was to make sure the manuscript was ready before pitching it. And here I was making the same mistake, trying to do it as fast as possible, not letting the book rest for a while before doing the last rounds of edition. Hurrying up too much.

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When I pitched it, the book was quite acceptable from the writing point of view. I made sure the words were accurate, I tried not to tell but show, I triple-verified all grammar rules, and I hired an external editor. I also made sure the plot moved fast, had twists everywhere, and that the “theme” was cohesive and there were no plot holes. What went wrong?

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In October, I managed to contact a very good beta reader on Goodreads. He gave me great feedback from the technical point of view (the book is about hackers) but also gave me great advice from the literary point of view. My weakest point was clear as water: Character development. They felt flat. The main characters were completely unidimensional. And I started seeing the flaws I haven’t seen before. I realized the book was not ready. I wasn’t satisfied with it, I knew I could do it a million times better. I had pitched too soon. (And I’m still crossing my fingers that the reason the three literary agents never replied was because my manuscript got lost in their email folders. This way, I can still have them in my pitching list for when the book is finally ready.)

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I started to review my manuscript yesterday, from scratch, rewriting practically everything. As I did It, I understood also what was missing in my writing. My voice. Although, the story is action packed, it’s actually dull. There’s no magic in the words. There’s no humour, no irony. It’s not witty. I can do this better. I can make more complex characters, ones that make people surprise, gasp, hate, love, laugh. The book was never ready.

November was a month of no writing. Since most of us writers have a full time job to maintain, I was involved in a work project that left me zero time to write. I’d never believed this time away from writing was actually what I needed, that No writing for some time would be more productive than a full month of continuous writing. I see the point now. Let the book rest.

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So I’m re writing the whole manuscript. But this time the story will come alive like a true story should do.

I’m thankful I realized this before precipitating myself into insisting with more agents, or even considering self-publishing. Now I know the true. The book will be ready when it’s ready.

Did you have any similar experiences? If you’re a writer how much can you relate to this? Any advice you would like to give me?

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “The new writing perspective

  1. I haven’t gotten that far with a writing project yet. I have another blogging friend who has already accepted to be a beta reader for me. I feel confident that she will tell me whatever is wrong with what I write without holding back.

    I’ve anticipated that feeling of wanting to hurry to the end of a project, if for no other reason than to feel I’ve finally completed one. The exhaustion of looking at the same manuscript day after day, week after week, month after month–you get the idea. The story becomes a bore just because it’s been read so many times. Oh, I do hope I don’t do that once I’ve gotten that far. Carla, use the advice; put the manuscript in a drawer for just a while and start thinking about a new project.

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    1. Thanks Glynis. Yeah, it’s like you say. You get bored of being with the same project for such a long time. You want it to be complete once for all. This month of no writing was actually very helpful, and not thinking about the manuscript all this time gave me a new perspective. I’ve started revising it because I suddenly gotten a new set of fresh ideas to insert in the manuscript. I’m writing as they come. No editing yet. Once I finish with them, I’m planning to let it rest again. In the meanwhile, I have in mind a couple of writing ideas that I’m planning to start on. Thanks so much for the advice, and for stopping by 🙂

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