If you wonder why you're not published, here's why

Lynn Raye Harris on Loving Revisions

For those of you who don't know her, Lynn Raye Harris was the Instant Seduction winner. Her prize was her very own editor for a year. Now, before I got any further, let me say, this was a MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT because there were over 600 entries (I was 3 of those) and her winning entry was like WOW! It totally fit the tone of Presents and the writing was great. That being said, it was only a first chapter.

No matter how many contests you enter, final and maybe even win, it is only a small bit of your writing that the judges have to go by. Like a query, these get your foot in the door. The biggest part of the challenge lies in the second half of your novel.

When you read Lynn's blogpost, you will see that she has just turned in her 2nd round of major revisions. She has not sold her book to Harlequin. It is still not to the point where it is ready to be purchased by them. Think about that. If not for winning the IS contest, was the promise of that opening chapter of Lynn's strong enough to survive 2 revision letters? In my experience, I don't think so. There are way too many queries, partials and fulls awaiting an editor's attention.

I don't know about anyone else, but Lynn's post made me go back and take a long, hard look at my WIP.

Have I gone deep enough into my character's emotional issues?

Have they talked about why they're at odds with each other?

Have I built the emotion?

Do they have an emotional connection?

Are they in love or lust?

Are they learning things about each other? (At this point the heroine knows NOTHING about the hero, hasn't asked, he hasn't volunteered and instead of going back and fixing it, I'm going to make it part of their conflict as I go forward.)

Are they rethinking their goals from the beginning of the book?

Are they laughing as well as fighting? (BTW--there is no laughing together in this book to chapter 8.)

See, what's funny to me is there are so many published authors that I don't see doing this. Or is it that they did it for their first book and got lazy?

What about you? Have you dug deep into your story? Or does this seem like way too much work?

Today's goal: Preparing current WIP for Donald Maass' workshop tomorrow.
Yesterday's achievement: Wrote 1000 words in historical (bad girl-I really should be working on the short contemporary that's been requested)
What I'm grateful for: Pam McCutcheon was at Seekerville today demonstrating the value of the Portable Plotting Board. I came up with a version on a spreadsheet for current WIP. Pretty cool stuff.
Quote: "Persistence is the twin sister of excellence. One is a matter of quality; the other, a matter of time." -Marabel Morgan, The Electric Woman