Wednesday, March 7, 2012 | By: Angela Brown

IWSG - Grow a Pair Already!

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Yeah.  "Grow a pair, already!" is what I told myself when I sat down to work revisions on my current WiP, MINGLED, a couple of days ago.

My excitement stirred when I finished the first draft of the query.  That's what really helped me finish the first draft of the MS.  Then I got some great advice on how to improve the query from a couple of fantastic folks like Elana Johnson - as part of NiNoCon - and David Powers King.  So I'm hoping I've made things better as far as the query is concerned.  Still have to review the suggestions against the changes I've made.

Then I got even more excited when the desire to revise kicked in full gear, after a much needed breather, and I started work, cutting here, adding there.  I was making slow but steady progress when I saw something interesting.

Brenda Drake does some of the most wonderful, awesome, fantastic activities at her blog.  Did I mention she does some awesome stuff at her blog?  Some things are worth repeating.  Anyway, she and a couple of other lovely dames go and do this March Madness contest that I almost entered.  Almost.  I even worked up a pitch for it:

MINGLED, YA paranormal set in a post-apocalyptic America-
In the Collective, blood is the price for peace.  For seventeen year old Macie, blood is nothing but trouble as she discovers there are those within the government who would kill to possess hers.

I'd tried to convince myself that since I'd finished the first draft that hey, I could probably give it a go.  I read the instructions.  I should have known better.  But then reality hit.  I couldn't participate because the agents are looking for MS-ready-to-query.  And as she often does with Charlie Brown, Lucy yanked the football from me at the last moment and I landed on my bottom.  One of the few times it pays to have a round-about-figure.
Gets him every time.
It isn't the contest's fault that my MS isn't finished with revisions.  That's up to me.  And I chose not to rush the revisions just to go for the Pitch contest.  So when I sat down the other day to do a few revisions, I stared at it a bit.  Blew out an exasperated sigh.  Hopped on the internet to procrastinate then came back to stare at it again.  I felt bothered by the missed opportunity.  I kept thinking I should have had it done already.  Then I had that brief, one-sentence conversation with myself.  I didn't snap out of my little self-pity party and into a revision rage, but it did make me giggle and remember that there will be other chances, other opportunities.  That I had to get to work or I WOULD keep missing one chance after another...nothing that I could blame on anyone but myself.  Me.  Not Lucy and that stupid football of hers :-)

I'm still revising.  Can't wait to get it out to betas when I'm done.  I'll look forward to getting their feedback and making the MS better, improve it.  And I look forward to fewer moments of Lucy yanking the football at the last moment since I hope to be in a better place with my MS should another opportunity arise.

Here's to hoping none of you are suffering a Lucy moment.

58 comments:

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Don't worry, Angela! There's always some other opportunity out there. I'm glad you're digging in and getting the work done. Don't let mean ol' Lucy win!

Alessa Hinlo said...

I totally sympathize. I see awesome opportunities like that one, the Cupid one, the ones on Miss Snark's First Victim and feel really down on myself because I have nothing ready yet. Not even remotely near ready!

But then I stop and shake myself. There'll always been opportunities later! Keep on trucking.

Miranda Hardy said...

Good luck with the revisions. Sometimes they take do much longer than the first draft.

Nadja Notariani said...

Wonderful articulation of an emotional battle we all face. You argued yourself splendidly, Angela! (Don't worry, I argue with myself, too. I think most writers do.) The opportunity will present itself when the time is just right. I don't know what your beliefs are, but I hold to that. Everything happens when, where, and how it does for a reason, all things actively working together to prepare us, to bring us to exactly where we're supposed to be.
...er, uhhmm....now get to work! Ha!

Have a great Wednesday, Angela!

Randy said...

The pitch sounds good. Although, I am left wondering why the government wants her blood. It might be a good idea to let the reader know why.

Angela Brown said...

Thanks, Dianne. She is a meanie :-) But I'm working along.

Angela Brown said...

Very true, Alessa. There are more chances than we know coming our way.

Angela Brown said...

Oh dear, let me hunker down over this baby and see what I can get done. :-)

Angela Brown said...

:-)

Why thank you, Nadja. I believe in reaping what you sow. It's not a strict and hard thing that applies to everyone, can't help wondering how some folks got where they are. But I also open my mind and heart to understanding some things happen for a reason.

Now yes, onward to work :-)

Angela Brown said...

Thanks, Randy. That's some great feedback. I'll use it to work on my pitch.

mshatch said...

I agree with Dianne. And your pitch does sound good!

Linda Jackson said...

Don't worry, Angela. Your time will come, and you will have that MS ready to go. :)

Heather said...

I've had my fair share of Lucy moments, that's for sure! LOL! But you realized you weren't ready and to me that's a win. You'll get there, I have no doubt And I love the premise of your book by the way!

Angela Brown said...

Thank you so much. Working to get more butt-in-chair time on the revisions.

Angela Brown said...

Sometimes, things happen for a reason. Other chances are coming and with some work, I can be ready :-)

Angela Brown said...

Thank you, Heather. Lucy can be a character sometimes but we can learn things when we get back up and try again.

1000th.monkey said...

Heh, I've felt similar disappointments lately about missed opportunities. Seems there's a lot going around online right now.

So, I better get off my butt and finish another story, and you better get your revisions done, then we can be rivals ;)

Barbara Ann Wright said...

Don't feel bad. There will be other opportunities, and you should be confident that you've revised and got the best damn book you can produce! Editing is key, and you should feel proud you didn't let that slide and go for the contest before you were ready.

Elana Johnson said...

Good luck with the revisions. Sometimes just getting started on them is the hardest part. :)

Krispy said...

Great attitude, and you are absolutely right. There will always be more opportunities, but you have to be ready for them! The bright side is, at least you have a working pitch ready now! All you have to do is get that MS in shape too. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Keep revising because that one pitch session wasn't your ONLY chance to see your manuscript become a book! There will be so many more opportunities. Take your time and do it right.

ali cross said...

Your pitch is great! Good luck with the revisions--you are totally gonna get there! (Lucy be damned!)

Lady Gwen said...

Your post title made me laugh - thanks for that. I'm in revising/procrastinating mode, too. We just gotta go one page at a time, one chapter at a time, until we're through:) Taking small chunks at a time aren't as intimidating. Right???

Sophia Chang said...

I love the grow a pair mantra - that's pretty much how I live my life. Especially with my NY energy among all the Cali folk.

Avery Marsh said...

I had the same Lucy moment for Brenda's contest. ;) But you're right, there will be other contests. Heck, Authoress has one every month.

You have a great attitude, too. Slow and steady progress is still progress. (Even though that slow part really aggravates me... can I just say how much I hate revisions?) And I'm glad you're keeping at it because your premise sounds fantastic. I love me some post-apocalyptic YA. ;)

Shelley Munro said...

You'll get there, Angela. I feel sympathy for your plight because I'm itching to plunge into the submission stage with one of my manuscripts. Deep down I know it's not ready yet, so I too, am doing the procrastination dance. Now...whip comes out...get you to your editing desk. Another opportunity will come by and you need to be ready.

Angela Orlowski-Peart said...

This is just one missed opportunity, and although it sounded promising, there will be plenty more when your MS is ready :-)

The pitch sounds great. It spiked my interest even more (I can't wait to read Mingled) but I agree with Randy that you should specify why the government is after Maci's blood.

Angela Brown said...

Alright, 1000th.monkey. Sounds like a plan to me :-)

Angela Brown said...

I tried to tell myself that at the time, but I ended up having to knock myself from my little pity party with a swift kick in the patooty. But you're right. Better to go forth with something I love than something that wouldn't rep me well.

Angela Brown said...

That is so true. Sometimes we can get stuck in neutral and not move forward. But I want to move forward, even with my silly little story.

Angela Brown said...

Thanks, Krispy. Working hard to get the MS in shape. If only I could burn calories at the same time lol!!!

Angela Brown said...

Very true, Alex. It's funny, but we can get really focused on one opportunity, forgetting all the others waiting for us when we're ready.

Angela Brown said...

Thank you Ali. The revisions are coming along. Hopefully, Lucy won't have another chance to rip that football away at the last moment, at least, I hope not too many more chances lol!!!

Angela Brown said...

Lady Gwen, that is a perfect of looking at it. Small chunks. Here we go!

Angela Brown said...

LOL!! Got that edge among the surf and waves, dude :-)

Angela Brown said...

A fellow Brenda's contest lamentor. What a world?

And can I add that I am not a big fan of revisions. Me and edits have a love/hate relationship. Edits love to make my MS bleed and though I don't like the blood all that much, I love what listening to good advice and improvements can do for an MS.

Angela Brown said...

Yes ma'am.

*jumps from the snap of the whip* lol!!!

But you're. Can't be ready without getting the work done.

Angela Brown said...

Thanks, Angela. I can't wait to get it to you. I'll so need the feedback.

*grabs pounding heart to slow anxiety*

And I will look at addressing the "why" aspect for my pitch. That can be the thing to push my pitch into "extra intriguing" so I know it will be worth working on. Thanks to you and Randy both :-)

Cherie Colyer said...

I love the feeling of finishing a first draft and love it even more when I get feedback from my wonderful critique groups. Congrats on getting as far as you are.

I tagged you in a Lucky 7 MEME.
I hope you'll stop by and check it out on my blog.

Stephen Tremp said...

Good luck with everything. Its a lot of work but a great feeling to know you're nearing the end of a milestone.

Clarissa Draper said...

I applaud you for working on your query. It scares me to death to even think of doing one. I have no idea where to start. Anyway, I hope you have success with all your revisions.

Angela Brown said...

That is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

Thanks for the tag. I should have something up on my blog in response tomorrow.

Angela Brown said...

Thanks, Stephen. Every milestone reached is a step closer to making my dream a reality. Onward and upward :-)

Angela Brown said...

Thanks, Clarissa.

As for the query, I'd recommend going by Elana Johnson's blog and grabbing that query e-book she has. It was pretty helpful in getting me started in the right direction.

Angela Cothran said...

That's a really great hook! I think Elana Johnson is a query genius.

Mike Keyton said...

That's bad luck, Angela, but you're right, there will be other contests. Actually I'm wondering whether I've just experienced a similar moment. I have a completed manuscript and query, but can't quite figure out from Brenda's site whether I've left it too late to enter.

Gina Gao said...

That's a really great book. I really like your blog and how you write.

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

Leigh Covington said...

Oh man! I hate those moments, but you are not alone. We all have them. They suck, but sometimes, when you're so excited about something, it's hard not to jump the gun. *sigh* That is why writing has me practicing patience. (Not my favorite thing - that's for sure.) But alas... one day we'll be query ready!!! Good luck!

Angela Brown said...

Thanks, Angela. I agree with you regarding Elana. she's just lots of awesomeness anyway :-)

Angela Brown said...

Oh no, Mike. I sure hope you made the cut-off.

*shaking my fist at Lucy just in case*

Angela Brown said...

Thank you, Gina. Appreciate you stopping by.

Angela Brown said...

That word patience. I've heard it's a virtue. Quoted the statement myself to ease a troubled mind.

Yet...

It is so hard to be patient. But if not, I'll do little more than trip over my own feet, cause myself undo harm...all for a lack of patience.

Thus, here I am, patience. :-)

Medeia Sharif said...

I totally forgot about Lucy doing that sort of thing.

Good luck with revisions. I like the pitch, btw. :)

Angela Brown said...

Thank you, Medeia. Yeah, Lucy was a meanie, but she was somehow cool about it.

callmebecks said...

DUDE - this totally sucks. I completely agree. What irritates me the most is missing secret agent contests that turn out to be one of my dream agents.

Anyway, if you haven't already seen, there's apparently going to be another sweet contest opportunity in May on Brenda's blog and a few others, and you've already got the pitch ready to go, so hopefully I'll see you on there.

Angela Brown said...

Now that's what I'm talking about when it comes to the super coolness of the writing community. Even though I wasn't thrilled about having to yank myself back from this opportunity, and knew it was the right thing to do, you've all been supportive and even sharing up and coming events that I CAN be prepared for. I love it. Thank you.

Candy Lynn Fite said...

Hey, woman! You'll be so thankful that you've prepared your ms before entering. I made the mistake several times last year with my sloppy copy of my drafted YA. Ugh, I'm embarrassed at the mere thought of entering it.

Two things I wanted to tell you: 1. Veronica Rossi is coming to Houston for reading and book signing on April 25th.(Unfortunately on a Wed. eve). I'll be going. I know it's a long trip for you, you could stay the night here if you needed to! I know you enjoyed Under the Never Sky.
2. Ever heard of the Texas Book Festival? It's totally free and a weekend of nothing but, you guessed it, books, authors, etc. in Austin. It's an annual event and usually in October. I think this year is Oct. 28th. I'll be attending as well this year. I'd like to volunteer, they need booth peeps to help out for different things. I think the website is www.texasbookfestival.com or .org. Last time I looked, they didn't have their list of guest authors for 2012 yet.

I know both are a heck of a drive for you, but who knows, you may have some crazy whim and decide to try at least the October event. :))

Kelley Vitollo said...

I hate these moments. I've been going through it myself.

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