At least, that's how it feels to me sometimes. Especially when crazy things are going on like VMA shenanigans, or my favorite the post PitchMadness pitch party (which can get insane and usually ends up with me in twitter jail).
Anyway, what happened is that I now have a mentor. Her name is Nicole Rescinti and is an agent at the Seymour Agency. You might recognize her as @NicLitAgent on twitter or my mention of her as one of the judges at the RT Writer Idol competition.
I wish I had the picture they took of us at the competition, but I'm still working on tracking it down. Somebody took a picture with a phone, but I never got it. So, you get a nice picture of her without me messing it up. :D
|I borrowed this from the Seymour Agency website|
I totally felt all authorly. It was awesome. She told me what she liked and then assigned me "homework". Homework? Really? Yes, really. I have homework. You see, my novel has a strong voice, great characters, and a solid setting. What it doesn't have is a clear plot. Yes, I have things going on, people kissing, arguing, being angsty, and other teenagery stuff, but I don't have a clear plot. What is my MC's goal? What is he trying to accomplish in this story and what things are getting in his way.
So I took a couple days and let it sink in what she was saying and wanting. She wanted a chapter chart and a character chart. I'd never done those. The chapter chart, she said, would help me see the problems in my plot. The character chart would help me see what my characters' goals, motivations, and challenges are.
After doing the chapter chart, I realized something important. I have no plot. I need a plot. And I'm an exposition-holic. Is there 12 step program for that? Maybe I can get little medallions for every chapter that doesn't overuse exposition. You'd only need a couple to start with because I'm so addicted!
Anyway, it's not easy looking at your novel like this, but that's probably why she made me do it because now...now I have IDEAS. I've come up with an outline of changes I want to make that will hopefully make things better and even more awesome.
And with the help of Nicole, my kickass CP, Bonnie, and all of those people who have taken time out of their lives to beta read this thing, I'm sure the end result will seriously rock. And who knows, maybe I'll get it published.
The moral of the story is this. Take a chance. Don't wait. I almost didn't sign up for that competition. I didn't think I would get selected as a finalist, and I definitely didn't expect to get picked as a runner up. If I hadn't taken that chance, Hate Jacket would still be sitting there, getting passes and never getting out into the world.
'Till Next Time.