Moving On – The Next Sub

I’m posting quick smart because I don’t want my rejection post to be the first thing people see on my blog. It’s been a hell of a process but it’s done now and I’m moving on. And what better news to move on with than an email from Anna. After telling her that I had four manuscripts ready(ish), she told me to send her partials of the two I thought were strongest. Two!! Yay.

So now all I have to do is choose the two strongest. Not so yay because which one do I go for? One of them the conflict is still niggling at me so probably not that. It’s another classic case of me having a set-up without really thinking through the internal conflict. However, the other three are all potentials. They are all very simple stories in that that there is no immediate, gimmicky set-up. The emphasis is entirely on the internal conflict. I’ve also steered clear of the stereotype trap I fell into with the previous stories in that they’re fully rounded characters and not just a bunch of character quirks. At least, I hope I have.

But you know, it’s funny. I was running through one of the stories with my husband last night and he said ‘wow, you really problems with your heroines don’t you?’. And I thought no I don’t! Surely not. But he’s right. My heroes conflicts are all clear cut, I find them simple to write. But my heroines always seem to take me ages to figure out. I wondered if it was because men just aren’t that complicated – at least, that’s what I told my husband – but actually, I think it’s because my heroes are more important to me. I love writing them. And my heroines tend to suffer because they’re just a foil for my amazing guy. Which was why my manuscript was rejected. The second half of the book was great, Anna told me, because it was all about my hero. The first half was about my heroine and just didn’t work.

So, the next submission will have to concentrate on getting my heroine right. Argh! Choices, choices… 🙂

15 thoughts on “Moving On – The Next Sub”

  1. Oh Jackie – I am the complete opposite, my issues are with the hero and I get the heroine right! maybe between the two of us we might formulate the perfect MH! Lol…

  2. jackie —
    With partials, because of what happened years ago, I do like to send them one at a time. Maybe ask Anna if you could send two synopsis and see which one she prefers. Otherwise chose your strongest.
    Remember that the heroine must aspiartional and she must hold some cards. Why is hte hero going to fall for her?

  3. Your post ties in so nicely with Lorraine Wilson’s current blog post.

    Every story starts with an amzing premise. And so far every story I’ve written has got to about Chapter Four before I realised the premise just wasn’t working. And that’s when all the characters’ motivations start to change and then I spent a lot of time struggling with it before it seemed even vaguely fixed.

    Is this just me, or has anyone else experienced this?

  4. Michelle, why is it better re sending two synopses rather than two partials? Will it take them longer do you think?
    Yes, good advice re the heroine. I’d better take a look at the mss I have and see how my heroines fit with that.

    Rach, we could swap for mss for a bit? You write my heroine and I’ll write your hero! 🙂

    Lorraine, yep. Keep it simple! Argh!

    Romy – snap! That’s pretty much my problem. Once you start having to add character traits to your characters to give them motivation to do something you’re trying to force them to do, then that’s when it stops being convincing. Internal conflict first, premise second! At least, that’s the way to go for Modern Heat.

  5. Jackie —
    Because it is letting the editor chose for you. Years ago, I submitted my first full and quickly followed it by another. Both came back. I had revisions on the second one, and would have had revisions on the first if I did the second ones right. In the event, although they loved parts and I gained an editor, the second one was not strong enough and because of that, it was not recommended that I revise the first one.
    Since then I have always made sure it was one piece at a time to give that piece of work the best chance. Helen French left before she was able to buy me but her last act was to pass Gladiator’s Honour to Linda. I learnt so much from Helen and do still consider her to be my first editor.
    And yes if Anna will look at your synopsis, she can say which one is the strongest quickly. If it is any help, I can take a quick look. Contact me via my website.
    Anyway, just make sure your heroine holds some cards. She cannot start from so low down that it is a slam dunk that she will marry him. The heroine needs to be aspirational, even when she is a slave.

  6. I’m with Janette and Rachael – love writing heroines, but find the heroes more difficult. It’s a fine line between alpha and a total pain in the neck (as, I think, has been said before) and I never seem to get it right.
    PS Fantastic insight from Michelle – am always amazed how generous published writers are with advice.

  7. Yes great advice Jackie, lorraine on her blog and Michelle.

    I did a great course a while back, Plotting via Motivation, it’s really helped me to plan. Of course, I don’t know if it’s working yet 🙂

  8. I have trouble writing both. But then I kind of have a moment when I think, ‘Ah so that’s what you’re all about’ and it gets a bit easier. Not a lot, but a bit. That ‘keep it simple, dig deep’ piece of advice is fabulous.

    And husbands can be surprisingly insightful on occasions, can’t they?!

  9. Yes, I agree Lucy. I don’t have problems with digging deep, I have problems with digging all the way through to China! To much and too many conflicts. Need to think about the KISS principle all the way. 🙂

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