Sacttered Thoughts

As I was perusing your lovely pages, several thoughts came to mind. I will do my best to combine them into one or two coherent thoughts here.

First

I popped over to Judith’s page and found myself stunned that I had not yet purchased her book, The Thrall’s Tale. What? Why was that? The cover was beautiful, I’d been following her page for sometime, the story looked excellent and it was set in a time and place in which I myself am planning on setting a novel. Wow. What a miss on my part. Naturally I headed right over to Amazon and hit “PURCHASE NOW AND HURRY UP ABOUT IT! SEND IT TO ME ASAP! GO, GO, GO!”

Yes, I know there is no such button on Amazon, but that is the sort of feeling I get when the urge to buy a book overpowers me.

 After I wiped the sweat from my brow and breathed a heavy sigh of relief at having rectified the atrocity, I sat back and thought, “Miss Rosemary, you need to get published. Move your behind and get on that!”

Which turned my attention to Wounded Soldier and how decidedly NOT FINISHED it is. (Side note, I updated the chatper a little as per suggestions of June H. It’s is now shorter and can be read here.) I have worked out a reason as to why Candace should spurn Derek in the beginning and it’s a great reason … but it might be too intense for the rest of the novel. Aka, if I add it, the work as a whole needs SO MUCH MORE THAN I PLANNED! Damn it, I wanted to start querying before I jet off to London.

But, if I query prematurely, then I’ll just get rejected or (unlikely) publish something that could be way better or, (more likely) just have to work it in later at the behest of the publisher but this time with deadlines and pressure. No, better to do it now no matter how impatient I am.

A few blogs later led to my

Second

thought via Lua and a conversation with my mother. Lua’s most recent post talked about the pressures from family and friends to do something safe with your life. She even completed law school (you go girl!) before she realized how much it did not suit her and turned her attention to writing.

My mother’s conversation related to this because we were talking about what I would like to do with my life and graduate school and blah, blah, blah, excuse me Mom I have writing to do. I told her I want to get my MFA in creative writing and she said – “Well what are you going to do with that?” *See my interview from Thomas for my response if you have not yet here*

But really, who cares what I do with that MFA? I love it. If you love something enough, you’ll find some sort of employment withing that area. You’ll sniff it out like a bloodhound or it will just come to you. And you never know, while studying abroad I could meet a British lord, fall desperately in love, never have to work again and spend the rest of my days writing and singing in the family manor and not need employment. Stranger things have happened. My

Third

musing came from the other half of Mom’s discussion. We got to talking about writing and the fact that I (technically) have completed WS. She asked to read it.

Inside my head alarm bells clamored and sirens wailed and warnings yelled and I screamed “NO, NO, NO! NOT A CHANCE IN HELL!!!!!!!”

I actually said, “S-sure it’s in th-that binder over there.”

This brought me full circle to my first thought with a slight modification. What made me think that I was ready to publish if I was loath to let my own mother read my novel? How could I unleash it to the harsh winds and storms of the general populace when I wasn’t even willing to show it to Mom?

The answer is twofold. One – the first time I showed Mom something I wrote I was 12 and she hated it. She didn’t say that of course but I could tell. She’s not a literary person and didn’t feel the pull of it (not that it probably had much literary merit being that I wrote it at 12 but still, you get the point). And two – it’s just not ready yet.

As frustrating as it is to admit, the manuscript is not complete. It is in great need of  a great many additions and revisions before I can send it anywhere, even to my mother. Sigh. I may complain about this for a while and I apologize in advance because, the odds are it won’t get done any time soon. While I am dying to let it out, Candace and Derek aren’t filling my head now. Laura and Thomas are. And so divided loyalties plague me.

However will I proceed?

Well I won’t force anything, that’s for sure. If Laura and Thomas want to be written, then by God they will be written. Candace and Derek will let me know when it’s time for me to finish their story. Literary agents will always be out there whether I query next month or next year.

What about you? Do you ever get stuck with these dilemmas? Do certain characters bug you when you really want to be fleshing out different ones? Do you ever feel like querying when you really know you shouldn’t? Do you ever get nervous about others reading your work?

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About Miss Rosemary

is a recent college graduate from NY hoping to complete her novel of ten years. Stop by her blog, Miss Rosemary's Novel Ideas at http://missrosemary.net or contact her at MissRosemarysNovelIdeas@gmail.com with comments, questions and suggestions. She'd love to hear from you! View all posts by Miss Rosemary

40 responses to “Sacttered Thoughts

  • Kiki

    how about you send it to me as a test run 😛

  • Clare Sager

    In terms of anyone telling you that an MFA/MA/etc in Creative Writing isn’t going to get you anywhere, I’m going to take the opportunity to get on my one-off soap box, because if you can’t do that on the day you graduate from an MA in Creative Writing, then when can you? Yep, today I did the whole rigmarole of silly gown, silly hat and silly hood-thing, walked across the stage with a hundred other people collecting various other qualifications. And although I finished the course back in September and received my results around November, today did feel like the culmination of that year’s hard work and I felt bloody proud. I’ve got half a novel that received, according to one tutor, the highest grade she’s ever awarded (I was speechless for a while after reading that comment, I can tell you!) and I’ve got a Master of Arts with Distinction, but more importantly, I feel that I have the tools and the support (from coursemates who have become great friends) to actually complete that novel. While I learnt more on my Bachelors (Creative Writing with English Literature), I achieved more on my Masters.

    So, yeah, it’s definitely worth it. 🙂 Go for it, and I hope you love it as much as I did.

    • Miss Rosemary

      Thank you for the encouragement, Clare! I will print your comment and show it to my mother and say “HA!” Just kidding but I will bring up your points/storeis when it comes up again (for it WILL come up again) lol

  • Cassandra Jade

    Death’s Daughter was published before my mum read it and while she liked it, she was the first person to point out that despite all the editing there was a typo in it. Somehow the thought of however many strangers reading my work doesn’t make me as nervous as the thought of family reading it. Odd but true.

    • Miss Rosemary

      Oh mothers. Family is definitely worse as far as readership goes. It might be because they know you so well and feel obligated to read it whereas if a stranger picks it up she reads it because she wants to. Just a thought

  • Graduation The Second « Jane of All Trades…

    […] here is a slightly edited version of a comment I just made on Miss Rosemary’s blog about today and the whole Master of Arts experience, because I’m very sleepy and should be in […]

  • citiesofthemind

    Isn’t it rough letting your family read anything? I mean, the people whose approval means something to you and all, judging the thing which matters most in your career, how could you not? It makes me nervous, and I don’t scare easy.

    Big step, glad you toughed it out.

    • Miss Rosemary

      Well … I kind of toughed it out. I told Mom she COULD read it but never actually gave her the manuscript … as with querying I’m going to wait until teh revisions are done. Speaking of which, I should work on those … lol

  • junebugger

    Ugh. I know how you feel–wanting to query when you know you shouldn’t. But what kept me revising for another few months was what an agented friend advised me of: “Don’t query for the sake of testing the waters.” Query when you’ve got to the point where you know you’ve done all you could possibly do and know you can do nothing more unless someone with authority (an agent) advises you to do so.

    But then you might be one of those writers who will never be satisfied with your manuscript (like myself). In that case, give yourself a reasonable deadline, and work your butt off to finish everything by then!

    Don’t worry, you’ll be querying soon enough! (Enjoy your days of pre-querying–once you start querying, you enter the rather emotionally exhausting Waiting Game) (or you might be super lucky and land an agent right away!!!)

    Cheers!

    • Miss Rosemary

      I AM one of those writers who is never satisfied with the finished product. Certain scenes and chapters sure, but then the more I reread them the more I see where they could have been improved … or so I think. They might not be any better or wrose just different.

      I like the tested waters advice. That would not be worth it. I do know the mauscript needs more work and will probably push my querying off until December or January. I hope not, but I do want to be realistic. It should be the best after all.

      Thanks for your encouragement as always!

    • Ollin Morales

      I agree with June H. Focus on writing a good novel first. The way I think of it is this: an egg is not focused on laying its first egg, it’s focused on becoming a chicken first. Focus on becoming a chicken, and then lay your egg. 🙂

      • Ollin Morales

        oh and as far as in MA in Creative Writing: I believe it is a worthy pursuit. But as a MA in CW reject, I would strongly advise having your plan B–and don’t ever attach your worth as a writer to whatever MA program you get into or graduate from. Let it feed your talent, but don’t let it define you.

      • Miss Rosemary

        Sound and practical words of wisdom. I’m hoping the graduate degree (and some awesome references from the Yanks lol) will help me land a real job with a salary as an editor, and maybe do some freelance writing on the side to boost my resume. This way I can both do what I love for a living and still feed my creative pursuits.

      • Miss Rosemary

        And you’re not a reject, you’re my friend 🙂

      • Miss Rosemary

        Haha! What an interesting (yet interesting) piece of advice!

  • Lua

    Oh drear Miss Rosemary if I had a penny for every time I heard that comment… 🙂
    “You’re getting an MA degree on creative writing?”
    “Why, yes indeed”
    (Now please choose one of the many questions below,)
    “What does it do?”
    “What are you gonna do with that?”
    “You can’t teach writing.”
    “How are you gonna make any money.”
    “That is not a real MA.”
    Well, you get the idea …:) But the thing is- I LOVE IT TOO!! And not just the creative writing part, but talking about writing, discussing stories, novels, authors, working with authors, meeting fellow writers, the exhausted amount of reading & writing… I love it all! And that’s what matter in the end, right?
    UK will be G.R.E.A.T.! (and that includes the British Lord) 😉

    • Miss Rosemary

      Ineed Miss Lua! I say we stick to our guns and don’t let them get us down! Whenever Christmas or birthdays rolled around when I was younger, I always always always wanted either books or journals in which I could write books. That was the only thing that never changed and that I really truly loved to do more than anything. And they say follow your passions for a career right?

  • slightlyignorant

    I think that in some ways it’s easier to think about someone you don’t know reading a manuscript and rejecting it than someone you’re close to and love doing the same. The unknown agent with the unknown face is, well, unknown – they can’t hurt you in the same way as your mother could if she were to not like what you’ve written.

    But I agree – if you don’t feel that it’s ready yet, don’t send it off. Having said THAT, though, I’ll also say that from everything I’ve read, sometimes you also have to know when to let it go – because writers, we’re our own worst critics in many ways.

    • Miss Rosemary

      This is very true. I am a tough critic but only on myself. I have standards that are sometimes way too high for me. BUT I do know that WS is not ready yet. It was good before, but I think part of the reason I never queried in the first place was because I knew it wasn’t good ENOUGH. I just needed a break from it. But now I’m back in the saddle and ready to get cracking 🙂

      And TOTALLY agree about the unknown. There’s somehting about rejection from someone close to you that stings so much more than someone whom you have never met. One time I bought this GREAT outfit that completely burned a hole in my pocket that I LOVED and all it took was my mom saying “what is THAT?” for me to never wear it again. I think the same principle applies to the writing.

  • kimberlyloomis

    Like others have already said, I find it difficult to have family read my stuff as well. My mother has always been heavy on the criticism such that any compliment that might be buried within it is all but impossible to discern. This is possibly due to the need of the child to have approval from the parent and so I can’t see the positives as readily as the negatives, however it’s still difficult to open myself up that way. Friends, other writers, are far easier, imo.

    Characters can be tricky things. My recent wip is plot driven so the issues are quite a bit different as it pertains to them. That the world I stuck her in is only that conjured by my nightmares lends still another layer that separates me from her and, subsequently, the ability to relate to her. That said, I don’t struggle with her so much as I struggle with finding the right words. A more sparsely written work I’ve never attempted before.

    Good luck withe decisions about querying as well as the waiting for your mother’s opinion! 🙂

  • theliterarylollipop

    This post was hilarious. (I feel like I’ve had conversations like that one before…)

    I used to be nervous to pass my work along to other readers, but then I realized that no matter what, I was happy with the draft (although I am totally willing to take constructive criticism). My mother is my editor, and has been for about 10 years so I’m used to letting her read drafts, etc. I do, however, cringe when some of my fellow English Lit peers ask to see a copy. We’ve all be trained to pick a novel to pieces that I can’t help but feel a little defensive at the thought.

    -L

    • Miss Rosemary

      Very true! Especially since we’ve worked so hard on our story that we want everyone to love it as much as we do.

      I’m very glad your mother is your editor. It’s critical to have someone close to you read your work and tell you their opininos.

  • Judith

    Hi! Thanks for dashing online and buying The Thrall’s Tale. I appreciate the enthusiasm. Congrats on your blog and good luck with your writing. It’s NOT easy, but it’s truly worth the sweat, tears and quizzical parental grimaces.

  • Sangu

    Being unpublished, I think I have the luxury to write what I want – I don’t have deadlines to be handing my writing in for, so I can write the characters who are shouting the loudest! 🙂

    • Miss Rosemary

      This is true. I know unpublished has its benefits, I’m just itching for the published benefits. lol

      • Sangu

        Haha yes very true! I long for those benefits too, though fickle as I am, I’ll bet that if I ever am published, I’ll think nostalgically of these days – the ones where I could write what I want, when I want!

  • firepages

    I thought it was hilarious when you thought “Not a chance in Hell!!” when your mother wanted to read your work. I literally laughed out loud! I know exactly how you feel. My parents disapprove of anything risky, so blogging, writing books, and book editing/proofreading all seem like signs of the apocalypse to them. Lol.

    I indulge in editing/proofreading and finishing my second novel after my very safe accounting job! You might be asking yourself, “What happened to your first novel?” It’s being held hostage on my computer because I am a big chicken, and while I would love to be published, I’m also afraid of rejection.

    Please let me know how it works out for you and I wish you the very best of luck!

  • Barb

    I tend to write about the characters speaking to me at the moment – but also musing about future writing (like my trilogy of the heroine that I won’t start writing until next year because I have tonz of other things to edit first, but every now and then I think about her! ;-))
    I’ve waited for so long to query (prose), that I can wait a little longer. But then I’m “blocked” by the fact that English is not my mother tongue and keep thinking “if I could find a like-minded native speaker who could check the grammar/spelling/whatnot AND the story” and postpone the querying… BUT, while I wait for my beta-readers, I’m actively researching agents and working on that query letter, so as soon as I hear from them, I can start querying. Next month or next year… I’ve waited for SO long, it doesn’t really matter!
    Don’t rush to query either, you might regret it later! (is that a rhyme or what???) 😀

  • Hema P.

    Haha, I feel the same way whenever I want to read a book now and can’t find it in the libraries or the book stores — I send for it via amazon and keep checking my mailbox way too often.

    You seem to have had a contemplative time! Great questions to ask yourself, even if the answers may not be what you want to hear, right?

    And “yes” to all the questions you asked us at the end. But if there weren’t these dilemmas and uncertainties to add to the magic of writing, then there definitely wouldn’t be so many of us in this same boat, right? 🙂

    • Miss Rosemary

      Very true, Hema.

      And yes, even though I didn’t really like the answer, I know it was the right conclusion. I’m choosing to be optimistic and think of it at a sign of maturity.

  • unabridgedgirl

    Hey, at least you’re headed in the right direction, and you know what you want, and I’m sure you’ll get it! 🙂

  • amanda

    Lots going on here! First, I like the new look of your blog. Second, I have big problems with wanting to query and/or send out work before its ready. When something is done (after you’ve been working on it forever) you just want it out the door, but it ALWAYS needs to breathe first.

    • Miss Rosemary

      Thanks, I like the new look too. I will let it stay for a while!

      And you’re so right about the querying. It’s tough, but truly knowing what’s best for the manuscript instead of rushing things out of desperation is always better. I like the door/breathing analogy, very well said 🙂

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