Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Like a Freight Train


Here it comes.

In two weeks my bags will be packed and I'll be on the road to KillerCon. I start the journey with a road trip to Atlanta, 'cause it was a LOT cheaper to fly out of ATL instead of Greenville. I'm crashing with a friend overnight, and then heading on to Vegas.

I've been working hard on my manuscript, but I don't know if it's gonna be done. I'm really concerned that it's not going to be in a shape that I'm comfortable with showing, and that kinda freaks me out. Especially since I have a pitch session FOR the novel coming up. I mean, I'm sure everyone attending KillerCon - especially the agents and editors manning the pitch sessions - are professionals, but I'm sure you know how hard it is to shake that Oh-my-God-I'm-in-front-of-the-class-and-where-are-my-PANTS feeling.

The last few days I've been in a standstill, like the doe who's found herself unlucky enough to be caught on the train tracks as her death approaches in a rushing growl of thunder and steam. I open the manuscript and look at it. I know the beginning HAS to be rewritten, but...

Sigh. I HATE buts.

I'm grateful to have found KillerCon, but I wish it was in October like my original timeline called for. Then I would have a finished, polished product to take with me to Vegas. Something I would know is the best work I could possibly give to a prospective agent.

Oh well, wish in one hand, spit in the other, see which one fills up first.

Fellow writers, when you go back through your edits, is it hard to read your own prose? Do you sometimes question whether or not you should subject another human being to experiencing said prose? I know I sure am this week... as I hear the train whistle in the distance, I know there's not much time left to get my shit together.

Send me some good productivity vibes huh? Thanks guys.

7 comments:

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Hope all goes well in Vegas, oh the memories come flooding back at the sound of vegas went there a few years ago and had a fantastic time,

Yvonne,

J.L. Stratton said...

All you can do is give your all and hope it's ready by the time you need to pitch it. Barring that, It will still be a positive experience and get you pointed, clearly, in the right direction for your MS.

I think I like editing and polishing almost more than drafting. But, I always nitpick down to the last word in each sentence and it kills me to cut.

If you don't like to reread your own stuff, maybe try one of those text to speech engines or try reading passages outloud. Better yet, find a really, really good friend to read it to you. Of course you still have the issue of time.

Well, if you already know the ending, go back to the beginning and concentrate wholly on that first chapter.

So, here's my productivity speach: Solitude, Wine, Good Music, Earphones, dogged determination, Unbreakable Concentration. Ok, so maybe all these don't work as well when mixed, but you get the point. Hang in there; keep your nose down. I know you can do it!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No one ever sees my first draft. It's usually not until I've printed it out and done some editing before my test readers are allowed to see it.

Two weeks is plenty of time to fix the beginning. You'll be fine!

Raquel Byrnes said...

You know in all the pitch sessions I've been to, the editor or agent actually does very little reading. They listen to you, maybe check out your proposals pages, some even take your one-sheet. Don't worry about it being ready, have what you're going to say to them ready complete with markety analysis of other books in your genre similar to yours that are selling. They'll want to know where on the shelf your book would go. Good luck at KillerCon!

Hart Johnson said...

Yeah, I would listen to Raquel, I think. It would be GREAT to have the first chapter polished, (maybe even 1-3) but I think the priority is practicing (out loud) your pitch and having a sharp synopsis ready.

*sending you luck and productivity*

Ellie said...

You are going to nail this; Sending you good luck and well wishes! You need a good laugh; take some ME time and go to the movies, get away from this for an evening. Come back with a recharged soul and fresh eyes!
I can't wait to hear all about it~
No dropped draws, you have a belt! We are your cheerleaders chatting your name. You can do it!!!

ggray said...

I think you are going to make a great impression. Go into your marketing brainset and pretend you're talking about someone else's work. I've seen how you do it for other people such as at the Saturday Art Market. You were amazing and impressed everyone there.
Try to leave all the worry behind as you step on that plane and look at it as an adventure.
Great info about pitch session, Raquel, I know nothing about such things and you gave great advice.