Thanks to a chat with a lovely writing buddy, I’ve been pondering the importance of the first page – especially in a category novel where the wc is VERY TIGHT.
This friend, who will soon be published, pointed out that most editors want the conflict CLEAR as MUD as early as THE FIRST PAGE!!
I KNOW!! I almost died? Surely not!!
So…I looked again at the first page of my new mss and found I’ve introduced the heroine but aside from that she’s had issues with a guy called Tim, is looking forward to heading home and doesn’t regard the wealthy workers in the offices above very highly, we don’t have any real insight on that first page as to what her conflcits will be.
I think my problem may be that I’ve started the story in the wrong place because for once I think I’ve got their conflicts fairly developed in my mind.
Anyway… just thought I’d let you know what I’m up too and why the word count isn’t shooting up on the side. I’m currently doing lots of research of stellar first pages and contemplating whether I need a totally NEW start to my story!
Go have a look at some of the first pages of your fave category romances!! How much is given away in as little as a few paras?!
That’s right… I finally heard from M&B about the partial I had subbed there – ‘Red-Hot Road Trip’ and I got a BIG FAT no!! But as I said the rejection letter was nice and juicy (FAT) and there were a lot of positives once I looked past the thanks but no thanks.
They said my style and voice show a great deal of potential for their Modern Heat line and that my characters have spark and I have a wonderful way with dialogue 🙂
Again the main mss concern was conflicts!! (cue lots of cursing from moi!)
They’ve asked me to put this mss to one side for now but I can already see ways to improve it ONCE I’m published and may be able to give it a second chance! Power of positive thinking at play here.
The best part? They said that my writing continues to be of a promisingly high standard and they want to see something else. I’m still able to sub directly to an editor, which is a HUGE relief as I was terrified I might have been slung back to the slush pile.
So it’s back to the drawing board.
I had planned on entering the new Presents/Modern Heat writing contest but the editor I’m working with has told me to sub directly to her instead. I’d already written a chapter and synopsis for the contest and had tried to think a lot more about character and that elusive emotional conflict…
The plan now is to work on my characters even more – doing a fair bit of pre-writing about their backgrounds, beliefs, etc – and then finish the partial to sub.
So… while I’m playing with my Maverick Millionaire and his Christmas Fairy, I’m curious… what do YOU do to really get to know your characters!
I also finally succombed and bought Lucy King’s debut as an ebook, cos I thought reading the most recently debuted MH author might help me get an idea of what they’re actually looking for. CAn’t wait to read it… even if I have to do so on my puter 🙂
Yes… I’m still ALIVE but I think I’m riding some sort of emotional rollercoaster with my writing.
I’ve been TRYING (being the operative word) to write OHHN. One moment I’m stoked with it and start writing lots and the next I’m stumped and can’t write more than two words. I think my problem is that there’s something inherently wrong with the story. I REALLY don’t wanna go back to the drawing board but at the same time, I don’t wanna waste any more time on a story that is FATALLY flawed and I fear this one is!
After rereading an email from a writing friend, I suddenly realised that if I stripped away the complications my heroine has with her dependent mother, the long-distance barrier that will be between my h&H when she returns home and his playboy reputation, there’s absolutely nothing stopping them from jumping into bed and/or having a HEA. There’s no internal BELIEF about themselves that is stopping them from committing to the other. ARGH!! So first I had NO CONFLICT and now it’s ALL external. Not doing too well here Rach!
So what do I do?! I’ve written 44k of a Superromance targetted novel (because until I hear back from the editor at Modern Heat, I was trying my hand at something different) and I think it has the bare bones of potential but it’s gonna need a complete rehaul.
Do I scrap the lot and start afresh? Or try weave in?! Guess it’s back to the drawing board.
Sorry for my rambles but I thought if I wrote a blog post, I’d at least have written something today and that’s gotta be better than all the wallowing, I’m currently doing 🙂