A Certain Shade of Green

**First of all. Wow. I am giddy--21 followers. Let me confess, I don't like the term followers. Friends I shall say instead. Woohoo. Thanks to all my new friends. I've made sure to return the favor.

I do wonder how everyone keeps up in Blog World? I find myself wanting to read and comment on all the notifications of new blog posts each morning. But then I wouldn't be able to keep my date with Gilad, Wii Fit, clean, do laundry, check my email and write. Whew. I do try my best to read through all posts and comment as I get the chance. I'm still trying to get through all the Love At First Sight stories, too.**

On we go:

I'm not sure what shade of green I'm waiting on. Wish I knew. I've edited Roulette over and over and over...I've a good query letter. I had incredible help from some great critters, including a handful of published (award-winning and bestselling) authors on my query. I should just send it already, right? I even have my agent folder all set up in order. So what the heck is wrong with me?

Every time I read the first 2-3 chapters I freak out. What if they're not good enough? What if nobody even wants a partial? What if nobody likes it? I don't get a do-over. Once Agent X, Y and Z reject my query/synopsis/partial, that's it. I'm done. So what if they all reject it?

Can you see I'm obsessing a tad.

I know Roulette is good. It's publish worthy--I'm sure of it. So are hundreds of others in the slush pile. Only a small percentage get that chance. I still fall in love with Kasia and Jake when I read through chapters. I still get angry at the men who are up to no good. I'm thrilled when things turn around for Kasia and she gets what she deserves. There are parts that still suck me in as if I'm just a reader.

Then there are parts that are just...sparse. Need more foam, I think (see Piedmont Writer's blog for the awesome metaphor).

My biggest fear/obsession isn't the story.  It's the word count. Agents harp and harp on it. I don't want to write a book of purple prose. I want to tell Kasia's story. So that's what I did. But, now, I think Kasia could use a little background ambiance.

So, what is it that you obsess over in your writing?


Piedmont Writer said...

So what is it you obsess over in your writing?


Okay so here's a little tip on querying. If you're really not sure about the word count or whatever it is you're worried about, query your B-list agents first to see if you can get feedback.

I have 3 lists, A, B, C. I always start out with my B's first. That way when I get feedback or rejections I know what I need to do to fix them and so can query my A's next. And I only ever query 7-10 at a time. Check out Chuck Sambuchino's blog, he's got some fantastic advice about querying and how to do it the right way.

Nicole Ducleroir said...

Tara, your feelings and hesitation are normal. It sounds like you believe in your work so you should go for it!! Piedmont's advice is awesome. You won't really know what to expect until you get in the game. So go on...play ball!

I'm rooting for you!

:)) Nicole

Tara said...

PW- Thanks for the query tips. I do have my agents separated out and plan to do about 7 at a time. Of course, I then obsess over thoughts of one or two of those B agents wanting it right away and wanting to represent me before ever getting to my A agents. Ha! Keep dreaming, I know.

Thanks for the cheers Nicole :)

My biggest issue is that with my goals, I'm All or Nothing (another thing in common with MC, lol). If I'm not doing/getting what I wanted, or feel it's not up to par, I will not stop trying.

I set up my Wii Fit this morning and just about killed myself because I refused to give up until I achieved good levels on all of the activities. I walk to pick my kids up from school each day, but I can barely make it out of this chair now. Uh oh.

So, I think I have to overcome the fear that if this doesn't land an agent, it's ok to fail. And move on to the next project. Urg. That hurt just to type.

sarahjayne smythe said...

I obsess about everyhing. :) But seriously, I fixate on words and word choice and I make myself crazy thinking that there is a better word out there if only I could find it. I obsess about failure. I obsess about success. It makes me sound psychotic.

It sounds like you have everything ready to go, however, and just need to take that next step. So when you're ready go for it. And check out what Anne says on her blog about querying, because she really seems to have a handle on it.

Good luck. :)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Hmm, I don't think there's much I don't obsess over. I spend the last 2 weeks revising, every single day, the first chapter of an ms on what is technically the fifth draft. I obsess over every word--this I think makes me the craziest, knowing there might be a better way to say something, a better image, a better series of images, or perhaps I've said too much, or perhaps I've been too subtle. I can't tell you how many times I've rewritten a sentence just to end up back where I started. I also obsess over word count, how much time I'm spending on writing, how much more I can do for it...it's a constant obsession.

But you're right...just have to abandon the freak-out and get in there. At some point, you just need to have confidence that you have done all you can do. Indeed, I'd venture to say this seems to apply to you. I think that's the way it goes with obsessions ;) You know it's publish-worthy, so there you go. Now it's time to put it out there. You can do it :) Good luck!

DL Hammons said...

I'm not sure you could call yourself a writer if you didn't obsess over something, or have fits of self-doubt. Once you start querying you'll probably recieve some feedback that will help you determine where (or if) your novel needs embelishing.

Good luck with it!!

G.~ said...

Oh.My.Gawd. The list would be shorter if you asked what I don't obsess over.

It depends on what day it is, whether or not I've slept well or ate anything yet, did I leave the clothes in the washer over night...you know? that whole chestnut.

Believe it or not, this affects what I obsess about with the writing. Then I avoid with a series of questions I ask myself; Do I want to work on that article today, another chapter from the book, or maybe I'll work on Shay's bio a little more, should I post a little piece on my blog? No, maybe on the writers forum, or maybe just send a chapter to a friend? Shit! Did I put the clothes in the dryer? Maybe I'll just take a run on the treadmill while I'm doing laundry...

This is how I procrastinate on the whole obsession thing with how much I think my book needs more, more, more of something. Once I read and re-read, I feel as if I start to get light headed and have blurred vision because I will pick apart a sentence until I feel as if I AM that paper in front of me. My fingers start to meld with paper. Their are piles of books around me to check my sentence form and the thesaurus is my new best friend. Then I'm not sure if it even makes sense anymore.

I wake up at night with a panicked thought of "Who do you think you are? Writing a book? HA! Do you really think you can pull off living the life you want by stringing these sentences together? Pah-leeze! Just go apply at Starbucks already!"

This is how I obsess...and procrastinate.
Thanks for asking. ;)

You have a great blog here, I will definitely be back.

Have you had a writer read your book? That may be able to fill in some of the blank spots.

Tara said...

Well, you've all made me feel much better. I'm normal. We all are :) Nice to know.

G- I've had a couple writer's crit various scenes in the book. The big scenes, of course, not the fillers. Which is where I probably need the help, lol.

Glad you like my blog. I took a look at yours too, it's great.

Kimberly Franklin said...

I panic all the time over my MS. If it weren't for my crit partners I would surely go insane.

And as for blogging... it's addictive. Very, very addictive!

Good luck! : )

Kat Harris said...

I'd have to agree with the rest of the folks. Writers and obsession (and I'm not talking about Calvin Klein) go hand in hand.

Followers...you know, I never really thought of it before, but blog followers does make it sound like a sort of cult thing, doesn't it? :-)