Monday, October 25, 2010
When do you cease writing your novel?
Last week was a rough one. I received three agent rejections plus a tear-inducing edit. The reader told me they liked my antagonist more than my protagonist. That my characters were not acting like Christians at all.
Not a happy day.
But I didn’t blame the messenger.
It made me rethink this writing a novel thing. Obviously, I hadn’t presented my MC the way I’d hoped. What goes on in my brain isn’t coming out on paper. I might have improved my technical skills but my plot was full of holes.
Of course, I emailed my supportive critique partners, some writer friends and others who know how much I love to write. I prayed that God would show me what I was missing.
But the time comes when you wonder how many more times you can tell someone you are starting another new book without them asking,” What about the other ones you wrote…”
I tossed them.
Because their only worth to me are as learning tools, stepping stones to writing better. I also ordered a book on Goals, Motivation and Conflict and promised myself I would not finish another book until I have read and understood this aspect of writing fiction.
So when does a writer say this isn’t for me? I will never get it? I will quit wasting my time, money and efforts on something I will never get?
Is there a magic number of rejected books?
I’m writing book number five. Because that same day I pulled out a short story I’d written about six years ago for Faithwriters. Oh my goodness was I embarrassed. But I was also thrilled that today I know how to improve all those mistakes.
We’re growing every time we put our words down on paper. Is there a moment when it will all come together? Hopefully.
But in the meantime, how will you push yourself forward when you find yourself swirling in the muck and mire like I was? Do you have a scenerio in your head when you will call it quits or is that not an option?