Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG #9: No One Wants To Read This


It's that time again for sharing with the Insecure Writer's Support Group.
What is that you may ask, well their mission statement is this:
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a home for writers in all stages; from unpublished to bestsellers. Our goal is to offer assistance and guidance. We want to help writers overcome their insecurities, and by offering encouragement we are creating a community of support.

The first Wednesday of each month, we blog about our fears, insecurities, or even an accomplishment we had.

I can't believe that it's already February. January went by in a blur. So much so, that I almost missed doing a post for this moth. 

Last month I talked about goals I wanted to achieve for 2017 and I've slowly been still moving towards those goals. In writing this book, I knew I was going to need to take more serious steps than I did the last time. Mostly in the idea of actually hiring an editor. For book 1 I was fortunate to have friends who had greater strengths than I do with all those pesky grammar rules. Where commas go, where they don't all that kind of stuff. Cost was a huge factor in my decision to not use one, and honestly it's still a factor for me. Editors are pricey, at least some. When I look at my 1099 statements and compare them to what I will be paying an editor, well I'm gonna be in the red for a long, long time. 

With that said, I started the process of trying to find an editor that I could afford and would work well with me. I requested sample edits and some of the feedback I expected. Use of passive voice, too much telling, that sort of thing, however I got back one that hit me right in the old insecure gut. Basically I was told that 'more' needed to happen in the story other than my FMC's road to recovery for it to be interesting. I had a 'huh' moment. Then the second guessing started. Do I need more drama, or angst as it's called? Aren't romance stories supposed to revolve around the two main leads and their relationship? Have I just wasted the last 3 years (1.5 not writing at all) of my life thinking about this story and working on it all of it to be trash? Is anyone really going to want to read this romance about recovery and overcoming inner demons?

Just when I was starting to feel good about myself and the progress I've been making, I get this feedback and the wind is knocked from my sails. I know it's my story and I have to write to please myself first, but I still want a sell-able product when it's all said and done. It was just one comment from one editor from the four I've contacted so far, but it doesn't take much for the seeds of doubt when it's on a situation I've already struggled with. Hence the non-writing for a little while. 

I'll keep going and finish my project because I want to. I feel like I'm close to the end and I want to experience that feeling of accomplishment again on completing a book. When it's done, I just have to hope that one or two people actually like it as much as I do. 

Thanks for stopping by
~Meka

18 comments:

  1. All editors, just like readers, have varying opinions. I do freelance editing. I've never had to tell anyone that more needs to happen in a story, because all stories are different. Romances do revolve around the two main leads, but there can be more. Usually there's more if it's romantic-suspense. As I said, every story is different.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not a romantic-suspense, just your every day 'run of the mill' romance. I didn't think there needed to be more considering what they are already dealing with. I do understand people perceive things differently and aside from the cost, I don't know if they'd be the editor for me since I wouldn't want to be pushed towards something I didn't feel was needed for the story.

      thanks for stopping by

      Delete
  2. Sad day. You really do have to weigh what the editor says against the story you're trying to tell. The reality is, they may have gone into the story with their own ideas of how it should go. I've read romances with plots, without actual plots, etc. Personally, I like when something larger than the romance is going on (because I'm an action gal), but there are plenty of readers who are very happy with just the romantic plot. I'd throw it at a few beta readers if you're really concerned. Get their honest opinions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I'm trying to remember it was just one that's felt that way. The story has a plot, but it's not wild and action packed. LOL To me, I feel like the FMC's issues are a larger issue than the romance, but I could be biased. LOL Ah yes, the beta readers, the other issues I have with that pesky self-doubt (see entry #6)

      thanks for stopping by

      Delete
  3. This is a tough thing to deal with as a writer. How to deal with advice that seem contratary to what others have told you. Out of 4 editors, one has told you this. It's too easy for us to 'Appeal to Authority', that if 75% of editors don't mention this as a problem, then 25% have to be wrong. Don't fall into that trap.

    Perhaps this tough criticism is a blessing in disguise. Maybe there is something you can add to it, or change it up a bit that you hadn't considered before. But then, maybe your story is fine the way it is, and this particular person is not a fan of this genre.

    As a content editor myself, I've had a few writers tell me that my notes were off basis, because no one else has told that to them. So I obviously have to be wrong because I'm the only one saying it. I urge you not to easily dismiss this editor and their notes for you, and give it strong consideration.

    When I published my last book, my editor did the same, and questioned me on a number of things. At first I wanted to argue that she just didn't understand, but then I took a step back and realized, if she said this, how many others might see this, and mark me down for thinking as my editor did. I ended working on 90% of the problem areas she mentioned. The other 10%, I chose to keep as I originally intended, because I felt very strongly that my was was best.

    Listen to all advice, consider it carefully, think about your potential fanbase, and then follow your heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I take all advice/feedback to heart. Someone spent their time and energy to read through my work and give me their thoughts so it gets serious consideration. I try and see things from their perspective and make any necessary adjustments from there.

      I've been in that place as well, but as a beta, where an author told me my feedback was contradictory to what others have said. my feedback was dismissed as were my services as a beta because I didn't fit in with the others.

      Because this was a sample edit, it'll be hard to figure out exactly what the issue was unless I continue with their services. I'm still trying to find an editor and hopefully I'll come across one soon that'll fit my needs to work out the kinks I may have in the story. I know it's not perfect which is why I started the process of trying to find a content editor.

      Thanks so much for your feedback.

      thanks for stopping by

      Delete
  4. I agree with Chrys. Editors have opinions too. They're humans and maybe the one with the advice that wasn't so nice was having an off day, or the chemistry between your writing and his/her style wasn't spot on. Keep going! Don't lose faith in your efforts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. :) The whole process of trying to find an editor has been scary. I was a nervous wreck when I sent out the samples to be evaluated. I mean, afterall they are the professionals and know what they are talking about right? I have to keep going and not let it weigh me down too much while making sure the story has enough umph.

      thanks for stopping by

      Delete
  5. I have been told that 90% of any success is persistence in the face of adversity. I know easier said than done sometimes especially when the wind has been knock out of your sails. You can do it. Be your own judge. Take what is helpful and discard the rest. Advice in the end is opinion and what works for some does not work for others, a quote for you, Og Mandino book The Greatest Salesman That Ever Lived, "I will persist until I succeed."

    Happy IWSG Day

    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) Thank you for your words of encouragement. It is easier said than done. I've let my self-doubt and worry hold me back for a long time and am just getting back to a good-ish place with my writing. I'll keep going forward because I want to get the story completed. :)

      thanks for stopping by

      Delete
  6. Having not read the story, I can't really say if "more" needs to happen or not. Have you tried asking the editor what s/he meant, specifically? "More" is so vague. And it's not like the editor said your work was terrible, just that they thought your story needed a little something extra. Use this as a tool or way to improve. First, ask what was meant. Then, think on it without being offended by the editor. What could you do to give the story "more" (of whatever they meant)? I recommend spending a day, week, or month on this (as a non-author, I should mention). Use mind-mapping. Draw, paint, art, write something completely disconnected and unrelated to the story just to get yourself thinking about the possibility of adding that "extra". Then, after you've spent enough time deliberating and you still feel you cannot appease the editor, let it go. This is your story first and foremost and if that "extra" ruins it, it's not worth using. Of course if the "extra" improves the story, then that editor has helped to make you a better writer. Anyway, just my humble opinion. :) Hope you're able to find the perfect, affordable editor and get your book published and printed successfully in the next few months. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have not gotten back to the editor yet. She sent the feedback back to me yesterday so I've been trying to take in all her suggestions instead of just focusing on that one part. But it's what's stood out the most right now. I don't know if I was offended so much as confused since it is a romance and not a suspense mystery type of story. Having my FMC abducted (part of her suggestion) doesn't really play into that.

      I'll think on it because as I said in other comments, I take all feedback seriously since someone took the time to give it to me and go from there. Thank you in the well wishes on my editor hunt. :)

      thanks for stopping by

      Delete
  7. The thing that struck me in the editor's comment was the word "interesting". Inner angst is fantastic, but something does need to happen in the story as a story about people is just that, a series of events influenced by motivations, goals and conflict. Have you ever read Debra Dixon's book regarding the same? Perhaps it would give you some insight into whether you can make your story even better before a reviewer posts their opinion to the world for all time...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. Hopefully I have enough outside conflict to go along with the inner turmoil to keep the story interesting. I've not read that book, but will be sure to check it out.

      thanks for stopping by

      Delete
  8. Wow. I'm sorry to hear that. What I've read of your story has been entertaining so far. I don't think you need "more." Did the editor give any suggestions on sub-plot ideas. I think you have a romance or contemporary novel. It's full of drama, you share secrets of their haunted pasts to get your readers to care for your characters, you have a balance of ups and downs. I agree with everyone else--reading is subjective. When getting feedback, weigh in what someone said but disregard if you don't agree. Ultimately, it will be your name on the cover when the book is released.

    Keep smiling,
    Yawatta

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well thank you. :) This one unlike my first does fit easier into a genre. My first poor novel feels homeless in a way since it's not clear cut for any one thing. I'm going to keep at it. I know I have to sort through all the feedback and make the best choice for my vision of the story. I'll get there eventually.

      thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  9. Once I found an editor that I really trusted I decided to make every change she suggested and I am so grateful to her because my book was so much better.
    If the editor isn't used to the romance genre I think you should find one that is. You will get there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm still on the hunt for a trusted editor. Hopefully I'll find one that meshes well with me so I can get that feedback I know I'm in need of. :)

      The whole searching for an editor is a scary process, but it's all about growth and getting my writing to the next level. Thanks :)

      thanks for stopping by

      Delete