Monday, September 19, 2011

Fab weekend and using the knife

This past weekend was a busy one - we had Harlequin Senior Executive Editor Birgit Davis-Todd in town to speak to our chapter and it was a wonderful day! We kicked it off with dinner at Ela on Friday night - yummy Greek food and lots of fab conversation. Then on Saturday we got together at the Future Inn where we'd booked meeting rooms for the day.

The sessions were fabulous as Birgit talked about compelling submissions, career management and Harlequin's role in a digital world. After lunch Birgit spent the afternoon taking pitches from our members while those in the queue did writing exercises in the main meeting room. I was on stopwatch duty to make sure we stayed on schedule. It was all hugely exciting and the energy in the air was incredible. We have a fantastic chapter here, and I was really proud of everyone who was brave enough to walk into that room. It's not easy but it's good experience and everyone seemed thrilled with the feedback and advice they received.

After the session a few of us stopped in the bar and had a quick drink with Birgit before going on our way. I finally confessed something that had been weighing on me for a few days - that the part of my WIP that I was writing didn't feel right and that I was feeling rather insecure about it. Saying it out loud helped. So did knowing that if it isn't right my editor will tell me and we'll fix it. Anyway, I was driving home when the solution hit me.

On one hand this is really exciting. It felt RIGHT. On the other hand it's disheartening as it means deleting a really big chunk - like over 4000 words worth. On a tight deadline this sucks. I was so happy that I'd hit the 35k mark. Now I'm back to just under 31k.

But if it's not right, it's not right. And actually, this works better because the replacement words will mark a big turning point and set up the last 1/3-1/4 of the book. It will put the focus back in the right place - on the romantic journey and the character arcs of Ty and Clara.

At the same time...OUCH. It still stings.

So now it's off to turn on the crock pot, start the washing machine and get set up for my first #1k1hr of the day. Here goes nothing...

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:24 p.m.

    Hi Donna! I forgot all about the chapter meeting. Doh! And I so wanted to come because this will be my last chance at a free weekend before being sucked into the hockey parent vortex.

    Anyway, it sounds like a great meeting! I did work on my New Voices entry this weekend, so I still did something in support of my writing. It's almost ready to go.

    Thanks again for your help in following up on last year's entry. I still haven't heard back, but it looks like everyone in Richmond is super busy. Hopefully they'll like this year's entry as well.

    Good luck with your word count. I know you can do it! Especially if you feel you're on the right track.

    Mary Carroll