Well, it was nice while it lasted, but it looks like I’m leaving the first draft behind for a while and heading back into revision land.
I think I mentioned here before that I’m a first alternate in Pitch Wars with FIRE AND EARTH. I got the revision notes back from my mentor on Friday and I’ve been digesting them for the last day or so. Some of them I completely agree with, but one in particular has taken me awhile to come around to. She says I started the story in the wrong place–by about eight chapters. Yikes. And then use some of the saved words to further develop the characters, side characters, and their goals and conflicts, as well as more showing of emotions.
But, you know, she has a point and what she identifies as the inciting incident may be a better choice than what I thought was the inciting incident. Now, I don’t know yet if I’m going to be able to delete all of that. There are some things in there I really do believe the reader needs to know to understand what’s driving the characters. But I’ve already identified–and cut–quite a lot that isn’t really necessary. I might be able to work in some of the rest later in the story.
I’ve got a lot of work to do on this. And I have to try to do as much as possible by the 20th, because where the story really starts will determine what the first 250 words are. Duh! (Also, you know, it’s just good form to have a completed ms for things like this just in case an agent makes a request.) Plus I need to write a 35-word pitch. I have about four possibilities right now and frankly, they all suck. This is not the part of writing I’m good at. I really like the description by a critique partner (thank you MattLeo) that trying to boil the story down to 35 words is necessarily like trying to decide which blind man had hold of the most interesting part of the elephant.
Plus, the reader critiques of THE BARD’S GIFT are starting to come in much earlier than I expected. (I was planning on the end of the month.) I think that’s good. It takes longer to read a story to critique it and I only sent it out on (I think) the 30th of December. I’m taking that to mean that the story kept them reading.
Back to work with a vengeance.