Saturday, January 16, 2016

Book Not Working? I Never Give up!

You're talking to a woman who taught someone to perform the Heimlich Maneuver on me AS I was literally dying from complete lack of oxygen and passing out. I. Do. Not. Give. Up. If this was the Middle Ages, that would be my family motto.

Now granted having a book plot not working out for me is a bit less dire than nearly dying.

I might set the subject book aside for a while and work on something else that my Muse was more seduced by or interested in....there's no telling how long I might wait to go back to said nonworking book...

There is in fact such a book (in a box and on a disc, not in a trunk under the bed LOL. The only things under my bed besides dust bunnies are cat toys that I refuse to retrieve for Jake, who finds it amusing to drop them between the headboard and the frame but we digress....) This epic tome is a paranormal fantasy, set on another world. It's known to me as "Kyle and Caitlyn." My freelance editors have said they'll never look at this book again. Let's go back in time....

So in 2010 I got fired up that now was the time to work seriously toward being published. I was inspired by the books of Cynthia Eden and Nalini Singh, as well as Andre Norton's Witch World, and had this idea for a PNR novel. I wrote it in a hot burst of wild creativity where the flow takes you and time stops. I thought it was THE best thing I'd ever written, I had sequels lined up in my head (still do). My beta reader, who was a published author, asked me if I was serious about being published. I said yes. She ripped it to SHREDS, people. (But I needed that. No worries.)  For about a week, in shock, I said this was it, I was never writing again. I had ALL the problems - too much telling, not enough showing. Lack of stage business for my people to do while talking. A heroine who had no agency. Some dubious consent issues. Omniscient POV. Head hopping. Use of dialog tags other than "said"....well, the list goes on, all the classic  newbie stuff.

Then I got stubborn (see the Family motto) and buckled down to start learning all these skillz I needed.  Carina put out a call for Ancient World romances and I wrote Priestess of the Nile with my newly acquired craft. Happy ending: that book got published in January 2012. I've got a total of 9 books, one novella, one short story, and 5 audiobooks released, the tenth novel is all written and the 11th one is 20K into the first draft. But I STILL keep wandering back to good old Kyle and Caitlyn in my mind.

I did do a massive rewrite on the manuscript, last year, I think, or maybe in 2014, and tried to address all the concerns the beta reader and editor had brought up originally. I applied my new toolbox of author craft and learning....massive comments back from the freelance editor and as I mentioned, the statement they never wanted to see it again. (This is my regular editor, by the way, so they're usually very cool with my books.)

SOME DAY I will bring this book and these characters I love up to the line and it will get released.  But to do that I'm going to have basically start over from the first word, let go of some of my favorite parts of the novel, probably change all the names....but Kyle and Caitlyn and my Muse know I will find the magic that brings their world alive in the same way I write ancient Egypt and the far future in my other two series.

And then we will celebrate!


  1. sometimes it's much easier to start over on a book than to try to rework the text that's there, for sure!

    1. I also find it amusing how much my editors have grown to loathe it! Definitely a candidate for starting over. And changing the names...