Just to give a little background, I’ve dedicated this year to learning the craft of writing. I left all the pressures of deadlines, word counts, and Nanos behind to focus more on style, and voice, and technique. The writing is slow going, but clean and powerful and I’ve even surprised myself by the abilities I posses when I apply myself. Progression is tedious, but worthwhile. So why in the world did I feel the need to add pressure by signing up for a first chapter contest?
I don’t know, but I did. Coupled with a few critiques from both my writering group and last week’s retreat, I’m in that place where you think failure is the only option, but success seems so close. See the conundrum?
I’ve spent the past week polishing my first two chapters until they glimmer brighter then Edward Cullen’s skin on a sunny afternoon. I’ve cut beloved scenes, reprimanded disobedient characters, and changed entire plot lines. I’ve slaved over this story! You think it’s easy being a man, making hard moral choices that go against everything you want and desire in life? Try being the woman who created that man. Not. Easy!
After reveling in the greatness that is my new beginning, I pulled up old contest and agent critiques just to be sure I had covered everything possible in this rewrite and could finally wash my hands of the dreaded first chapters.
It was at this point, while rereading critiques I’ve read several times before, that I realized I’d missed their points completely. I’d just spent a week polishing POOP! Wonderfully written poop, but poop just the same.
My hero and heroine stare at each other longingly across a room, but does that really count as a “cute meet”? And would Mr. Alpha Male spy a woman in need and turn the other cheek? Not my kind of hero! Queue the hero song.
So now, after a week of polishing, I’m back to the drawing board. Who knows, one day I might actually finish the book.