Getting to Chapter Two

I’m late posting, and I place the blame firmly on Harper Voyager’s open submissions for non-agented works.  Given a completed novel-length work that hasn’t been submitted before, you can send it in before the 14th, and they’ll consider it for e-publication.

Jackpot!?

So, when I heard this back in August, I was all Oh YES I have just the thing for them! Then I realized I had better ask some of my writer friends to take a beta read. Being incredible friends, several said yes. Three actually read all the way through.  Two said, “It’s not horrible. We want more.” The third gave some excellent suggestions about language. The fourth, who brings to bear a background in film and comics, came through with excellent suggestions for sharpening up chapters that had suffered from insufficient re-write. Mind you, he was the person who suggested I read McKee’s Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting.

If you write fiction, you really need to read McKee. Working through that totally engrossing tome on the art of storytelling was better than getting religion. Learning how to turn conflict into story:  priceless.

Time being short, my friend and I had a two-hour video conference via Skype. Oh. My. God.  I took copious notes.  This was going to be Re-write City for big chunks o’ plot. Good news:  the story’s original and has good bones. Bad news: still some flab.

Writer’s Shock

Now, before he’s been able to get through the whole thing, he’s moving. He’s unplugged. And I have to tighten up a long book, write a riveting synopsis and find the most exciting chapter in the next five days.

My principal figment says:

Confused Alex is Confused.

Didn’t I do it right the first time? Call my union rep!

My own reaction:

OMG I have to do what by when?!!

Writer’s Shock

*bites nails*

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