i'll confess already!

i have so many things to say to you that i can't say anything at all.
how's that for a lack of blogging excuse?

i store up blog posts, draft them when i'm  nowhere near my computer, and as soon as my fingers are in place to type--nada.  blank screen, blank mind.

except tonight i have so many things to blog about that i can't decide which to go with.  many topics are unrelated and would end up confusing you.  best to save those for separate posts.  *makes mental note to make notes for self.*

i'll stick with the many topics that are loosely related....

queries, conflicts, revisions, and confessions

as you all know, i've been struggling with my query. 

well, i think i've got it pretty much nailed.  finally, right?!!! except for the fact that it still pretty much sucks.  how does that make sense?  well, the query has what it needs:  the proper three-paragraph structure (Introduction, Conflict, Consequence).  what it doesn't have is a strong enough story to represent.

yeah, that's a hard one to swallow.
(hard truth:  sometimes it's not the query's fault for getting the writer rejections.)

especially since i have a full out with an agent i'd love love love to represent me.  will she decide she loves my premise and mc enough to give me a revise and resubmit?  who knows. i pray she will, but i'm sure she receives many that don't need it, so she may not bother.  i'd love the chance.  in fact, i plan to save my manuscript in another document and begin revising anyway.

here's why.

i've been going at my query like crazy.  it got me two full requests and an honorable mention in a contest.  i have 50 pages out with another agent (not based on my query). and a pile of form rejections (18, plus 2 no responses).  i've sent out 30 queries (still waiting on 7).  you can decide if that's a ton or not.  also, every three form rejections, i changed my query.  probably a huge no no.  (especially since we now know it may not be the query's fault.)  (you should also know that if i firmly believed in my query, i wouldn't mess with it.  it's not just the form rejections that drive me to rework it.  i knew it wasn't right, until now.)

however, i've also submitted to agencies who request 5,10, or even 20 pages with the query.  that's not just a query problem.  it's a pages problem.  a story problem.

or, you know...i haven't found the "right" agent yet.  i know. i know.  (i wish that were the case here.)

but deep down, i do know.  there's a problem with the way i write conflict.

because i don't.
write conflict.

i scare away from adding conflict.

this is my confession.  to myself.  and to you.

i'm way too easy on my characters.

and who likes to read about happy characters? 


my husband doesn't read.  (expect for internet news articles...sports stuff)  so what i mean is my husband doesn't read fiction.  yet he's awesome at reading my queries, my pages and nailing the problems.

so in my query i added the specific issue my mc had, the one that set off the whole novel (otherwise known as the inciting incident) and he laughed. 

he laughed at it.  at my mc's problem.

it shouldn't be a funny matter.

he said, "that's what she did?"  (see?  i'm even too embarrassed here to tell you the specifics.) 

"christy," he said, "there's no story in this.  nobody will want to read this.  kids are reading stories about way worse things. this is too innocent."  i said, "but i am innocent.  i would have read this."  he shook his head. 

and he's right.  he said i needed to really embarrass her.  make the event more catastrophic, something that would piss her off and really start a friendship war.

is rewriting fun?  no.  but being imaginative and creative is.  or should be.  i just need to let myself go a little.

it's all i've been thinking about in starting my "shiny new idea".  looks like my old one needs a bit of it too.

*cracks knuckles*  off i go to shine up an old idea and make the story more exciting!

channelling meanness.  what if?  what if?  what if?  must. complete. writing. exercises. 

(i know it's not the best to share query stats via the blog, but i did.  because it's on my mind, and the point of this blog is to help other writers, get help from other writers and be a support system.  and if ever i needed support, it's now.  so i'm laying it all out there in the open.  some of you do.  and i appreciate it.)


  1. Oh, I am so in that boat with you! I want my characters to be happy, and for everything to be sunshine and butterflies. Hence the reason I don't even have a query, because it would go something like: "And they all lived happily ever before, during, and after."

  2. This is what I would do. I would keep querying the ms that is out and start the new shiny idea.

    The fact that you know you have an issue with conflict has probably changed you a bit as a writer ...and you have learned a lot in the process. It might be easier to write something new than to keep trying to fix the old one right now. (I have gone back to fix older ms, but only after enough time has gone by that I am seeing it with fresh eyes:)

    Good luck!


  3. I'm the same! I don't mind my characters getting into trouble, but I let themselves get out of trouble far too quickly and easily. I finally tossed a story because of this. I THINK I've done better with this story, but I need a re-read to let me know. Maybe I should chat with your hubby... :)

  4. This is SO tough, and believe me, we can ALL relate. It's so hard to know what it is that isn't working! If you've found 'it' then I know you can roll up your sleeves and get busy. You CAN do this!!

  5. Now that I think about it, I don't do much to my characters, either. I just participate in the killing and maiming of their relatives. I love my family, I swear!!!

    And keep your chin up, christy! You're a maniac when it comes to writing and you'll have the perfect one soon! (umm, I still owe you a chapter. it's coming, I swear!)


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