The results are in. Fair to Middling. So, I’m not going to find the new career and success by my goal of April 24, 2016. My sister says I (technically) have until April 24, 2017 to accomplish what I wanted to in this pivotal year.
My story, back from the professional edit, is not ready for market. It has all the necessary components, it has a likable main character, it has a great plot, and there is some good writing to be found. But, there is too much; confusion, too much left unsaid, too rushed, and too many darlings that I must kill.
Not exactly what I wanted to hear. Perhaps, the message will permeate this thick skull. If I’m lucky, and if I work hard, I may have a marketable piece of work in six months time.
I do have enough material to work with, I know what I need to do after the recommendation. I have to remove about 40% of the darling and turn the other 60% into 100% of the MS. I know, surprisingly, how I’m going to do that and possibly turn the deleted portions into another novel. More scraps on the editing room floor.
I keep hearing the same criticism, too much, too fast, and too confusing. Take what’s in your mind, and put it on paper. I am so engrossed in my story that I forget the reader isn’t with me at times, but I have to figure out the thin line between what the reader wants to discover on their own and what I need to clarify to keep them in.
Two books were recommended, actually three, but two are technical and one is for a good read.
The book Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, The Novel Maker Handbook by Diane O’Connell, and Elements of Style by Strunk and White.
I have ordered all three and intend to read them and take it all in. I have received enough encouragement, along with the brutal honesty of a MS not ready for prime time, to keep me going. Plus, the excitement of revisiting, again, the characters of this most hacked and torn WIP, that has had its name changed three times and now, five revisions.
This weekend I am taking another one of my stories to visit my sister in CT again. She is going to help me read though it, analyze the criticism I received on YouWriteOn.com and find the common threads and slow it down and “cook it” until the flavor of my voice comes through. I’m told it’s there, albeit intermittent kind of a silk purse surrounded by pigs ears.
The good news is the answer came today and here I am blogging about it. In the past, I have spent several days going through all my reactions (denial, grief, etc.) and letting it get the best of me. I still have the support of my family, encouraging words and all. I still have the enthusiasm for my story, and focusing in on a tighter portion may require a little more research in some areas. Mostly consisting of sweeping the pawns off the chess board and leaving the Queen and the Bishop to play a new game. A game I plan to win.