Yes, here we go again. When I left you I had five weeks to write a story from scratch and submit. Here’s how I did it.
Check out yesterday’s post by clicking here to see how I got myself into this mess.
Okay, so this is how I did it…
I took two days to come up with and outline the story.
I gave myself 1,000 words a day of writing time by placing FIRE IN THE WOODS on hold. Within Ten days (two weeks in to the process—I don’t write on weekends) I had a rough draft.
Three more weeks until Deadline.
I posted the first half of my story on Scribophile, took general comments, and did a mild revision.
Two weeks until deadline… and no one had even seen the second half.
Now it was time for my writing buddies to jump on board. They all read it in full. One ripped me a new one. It almost felt like a “keep out of genres you don’t write” kind of critique. Ever gotten one of those?
One beta said it was good, but when I asked her about the harsh comments I received from the other person, she agreed with many of them. (Ugh!) Later the same day, two glowing betas came back with mild changes only.
Talk about contradicting criticism!
I mentioned that I was now unsure, and was considering an overhaul… and one buddy… let’s call her multi-published Romance Writer #1 said: “DON’T YOU DARE! This is your story, not hers. Tweak if you must, but don’t change. Always go with your gut. Your gut likes what you wrote. The publisher will, too.”
So, I thought it over, and agreed with Romance Writer #1. If I made the drastic changes to both my characters to make everyone happy, it would be sappy, and not really what I wanted. So I stuck to my guns. Tweak, polish, complete.
One week and three days until the deadline.
Oh Crud! I need a query!
I wrote up a query really fast and sent it to my query gnome. (If you don’t have one, find one) She slashed my blurb and re-wrote it for me, but left the rest in-tact. I tweaked slightly to keep in my voice and posted it to my Scribophile group.
Multi-published Romance Writer #2 jumped in and tweaked it some more.
You know what? I ended up with something that even made ME want to read it, and I don’t read Romance. (It’s great having friends that like to write queries.)
One week to deadline:
Yes, I pressed the submit button, and I did it one week early. Funny, I was not as stressed about this one. I’m not sure why.
I learned a few things through this process…
Well, maybe not learned, but it reiterated things I already knew:
1. I can write under incredible pressure.
2. You need more than one beta, get many opinions and go with majority… don’t try to make them all happy
3. Go with your gut.
4. Writing buddies are incredibly important. My friends knew I had a deadline, and they dropped what they were doing to critique. Know what? I will do the same for them. If you don’t have writing buddies, find them.
Thank you Sisterhood of the Traveling Pens!
(Note… all my buddies are “on-line” friends. Social networking. It ROCKS!)
So, that ends the tale of my latest madness writing adventure. Will it work out? Dunno. But I do know that push comes to shove, I Can do this.
My advice? Challenge yourself. You don’t know what will happen or what you can do until you try.