Waiting for "The Call"

“Honey, it’s always crap. Every book I write is crap. It’s my job to fix the crap afterwards,” according to Nora Roberts. Well, I've got it half right. Still working on the "fixing it" part. "Trust your characters to be complex enough and to have enough emotional baggage. Force them to make hard choices." Advice from Michelle Styles that might help!

Am I a grown-up yet? May 15, 2008

Filed under: Writing and Life — Autumn Macarthur @ 12:03 am
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I’m both excited and nervous about a writing workshop followed by a Mills and Boon centenary event I’m going to on Saturday. A Presents editor will be there, not to mention four writers whose work I adore! Do I say if anyone asks that I am a writer working towards being published, or do I silently lurk like I did last time I went to a romance writer’s conference (back in Australia in 1995)?

I would love to be bold enough to pitch the editor if I get the chance, yet in my heart I know I’m not “there” yet, my writing is probably at least one year off being at publishable standard. I have nothing to send off anyway even if by some miracle I she did say, “Sure, send me something.” I have a completed first draft that needs major editing, almost amounting to a rewrite; I have my nearly finished first draft of my Instant Seduction entry, which I still want to complete and submit, because I do love the characters and it’s now so much better than what I sent to the competition; and I have two stories with reasonably well worked out plots and characters, but only around 5,000 and 10,000 words written on them as yet. So that’s a loooooong way off having anything worth pitching. If asked, I’ll tell the truth, that’s what grown-ups do. I’ll say “Yes, I am wriitng, I’m working on a couple of stories, but I don’t have anything ready to submit yet.”

I do want to have at least a one-line synopsis handy. I think that’s something that will keep me focused as I’m wriitng too. The theme for James and Cassie’s story seems to be “Love is stronger than your strongest fear, and deeper than your deepest desire,” but the snappy one line description still evades me. I’ll work on it. Something like “Bad boy renegade inherits the family property, but must convince the board of directors that he’s ready to settle down in order to take control of his business. Passion and danger ignite when he contracts a marriage of convenience with an unconventional artist.”

 I don’t know, is that crap?

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2 Responses to “Am I a grown-up yet?”

  1. I’m sooo jealous!!! Wish I was there with you. You lucky duck! 🙂

    Hmmm. One liner, eh? How about:

    “Can a renegade bad boy inheritor convince a board of directors he is back and ready to settle down for business with an unconventional marriage of convenience that explodes with danger and passion?”

  2. waitingforthecall Says:

    Melissa, that is fantastic! You can sooooo do this! Every time I read something you write, I love it.

    I wish you had been here too, it’s been a marvellous day. I’m at the station waiting for my train – a three hlour journey home with two changes of train, but it has been very worth the trip. My head is full of ideas and impressions at the moment, Kate Walker’s workshop was about really digging deep into character as the source of plot and I wrote loads of notes about how I can apply that to James and Cassie’s story.

    All the new ideas, plus the glass of champagne at the Mills and Boon event, on top of the glass of wine I had with my very late lunch, has my head in a spin. I want to do a full polst tomorrow to sort of all I have learned.

    Trish Wylie is just as funny in real life as she is on her blog; Natasha is delightful and also very funny, I wish I’d had the chance to speak to her more; Kate Hardy was lovely too, and unbelievably prolific- 9 books in a year; Kate Walker is so experienced with 54 books published. An incredible range of experience and different writing voices. I also met and had lunch with a couple of writers in the same place as us, nearly but not quite there yet.


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