The Never Ending Story

It would have been nice to start the weekend off with some news – but I don’t have any news. Sigh. I guess me having to update the synopsis has put a spanner in the works. I was really, really hoping that it wouldn’t but maybe the day she’d set aside for my partial was the day she didn’t have the updated synopsis and so chapters 2 – 3 remain unread. Deeper sigh.

This story is something I really wondering if I’m doing myself any favours with. It all started back in October 2009 when I suggested I send the ed the synopsis for approval first. This was for a story I’d initially written (twice) in 2008. She agreed and so I spent a week trying to get it right. Rewrote the synopsis 6 times. Sent it in. Ed said ‘back to the drawing board I’m afraid’. This is now November. She suggested I send her some character bios. So I did. December she said they looked good, could she now see the first three chapters and a synopsis. Happy me. I wrote them and sent them at the very beginning of January. Cue four months waiting. April, the ed suggested substantial rewriting. Big wahs from me. Then she suggested she look at my first chapter first. Slightly happier me. I rewrote the partial but after having had it critiqued, realised I’d done a crap job so I rewrote it again (5th time all up). Sent in my first chapter. Ed liked it! Very, very happy me. Send the other two, she said. So I did. Six weeks later she’ll get back to me by the end of this week. Um, story is different now, says I. Would you like an updated synopsis? Yes, indeed, says the ed. Tears, tantrums, loud complaints of giving up, wailings and gnashings of teeth later, I rewrote the synopsis (number 7). Thumbs down after a critique. More wailings, tearings of hair, blood on the keyboard. Rewrite again (number 8) and sent it.


So there you have it, the story of the of the Never Ending Story. Have I been an idiot for pushing this story so hard? Should I have told the ed to forget it in April and sent her something new? Will I even get to send the rest after nine months of it sitting at the partial stage? Am I, in fact, any good at writing at all or am I deluding myself that I can do this?

Sigh. I am pushing it I guess because I want to show them I can rewrite if necessary. Or maybe all I’ve shown them is what a huge mess I’ve made of it.

I guess the problem has been that I have a strong voice that needs to be reined in sometimes. And the other – I’ve finally figured out – is that I am trying to fit single title conflict into a category book. What I mean by that is that I overcomplicate by conflicts. They never just have one strand, they’re always multi-faceted. Not good for a category length novel. I’ve also realised that the reason I give them complex conflict is that I feel that falling in love solving their problems makes it too simple. So I give them more problems. And so overcomplicate. Does that make sense?

Yeah, I know, these are love stories. Fantasies. Of course falling in love doesn’t solve all their problems. At least, it may not solve all of them, just the main one you’ve given them at the beginning of the book. Ah well, at least I know now.

Alright, so seeing as I have no news on the Never Ending Story, does anyone have any good goss instead?

26 thoughts on “The Never Ending Story”

  1. Jeez Jackie, it’s been a bumpy road for you with this one hasn’t it?
    The fact that the wait starts all over again after every changed synopsis and set of revisions can make for something akin to torture.
    And then of course you had the nail biting news that you’ll hear something this week only to then not because of the revised synopsis – it’s no wonder you’re feeling burnt out with it all.
    Platitudes won’t help I’m sure, but keep the faith, eh? You have an army of people around the world crossing their fingers for you.

    Goss… sadly lacking on that i’m afraid.
    Although… I hear that a certain brand spanking new presents author’s book might be landing on door mats and books shelves sometime soon…;o)


  2. Joanne – tell me about it. And yes, every time you sub something new/different, the wait begins all over again. I am this close to chucking the story in to be honest.

    Oh, yes, at least Miss Maisey has some good news! πŸ™‚

  3. Wow, I feel your pain, Jackie. That’s a damn long wait – the journey to publication is never smooth, is it? *sigh*

    I really hope your hard work and waiting pay off – you’re such a hard worker, you really deserve it.

    I’ve said to you in the past that the highs and lows of the journey to publication are similar to the highs and lows of IVF. No good news on my front either, I’m afraid πŸ™ Will keep my fingers crossed for both of us.

  4. Angie – yeah, this one has been very hard. Thanks m’dear! Sorry to hear no good news for you – crossing fingers though. Don’t give up hope. You deserve to get what you want as well and that’s a damn sight more important than getting a book published I reckon. πŸ˜‰

  5. I think it says something really positive about your tenacity and dedication to working with the editor to develop the story. They’re not shy when it comes to telling you to start something new (got the R letter to prove it ;). Don’t give up!

  6. You know I’m having a lightbulb moment. I think perhaps part of my problem is also overcomplicating the plot but I really feel that when it’s simplified there’s not enough to keep the characters apart. I think my teeth are going to be little stubs from the frustration lol!

  7. Jackie. Big big hugs.
    I read your comment about ‘strong voice that needs to be reined in’. Hehe. That’s me too. And it hurts. It sux so much you want to throw it at the wall. Great comments and there’s always a but at the end…

    But here’s the good news. You are trying. You are persistently coming back for more. You are getting great feedback. You are stretching yourself to meet these markers. You are also flexing your patience reserves to the max. These are key skills. You are a brave woman. And having great voice is the one thing you can’t learn.

    Who knows where you’ll end up being pubbed (don’t take that the wrong way, this is what I say to myself!) BUT YOU WILL be published. This is your journey. Hang in. jx

  8. Lacey – thanks! Yeah, I know they’re not shy. I just wonder whether it might have been kinder to me in the long run. Sigh. Oh well, it’s a skill I need to learn.
    Re your conflict problems. If you don’t think you have enough to keep them apart, then it could also be that you’re not going deep enough into the conflict. If it’s a previous relationship that has them being gunshy, what about this previous realtionshp (for example) was the problem? Did it relate to anything in the characters past? How did it make the character feel?
    For the NES, my heroine thinks she doesn’t want to be tied down ’cause then she’d have to give up her photography, while my hero doesn’t have the time for relationships. But really, those aren’t the real reasons for why they’re not together. The real reason is that my heroine is scared of feeling unwanted, while my hero is scared of feeling unimportant. But it takes the whole book to get down to that stage because they don’t know those are the real reasons until right near the end. And of course, with conflict like that, falling in love DOES solve the problems! Lol.

  9. Judy – hey you! Strong voices of the world unite!! Yeah, get lots of nice comments about the voice but I go to extremes if not given direction. Too much conflict one story, too little the next. Too much about the sex, too little. Too much backstory, not enough. Annoying!
    And I do keep coming back for more – am I a masochist do you think? Lol! Maybe I am. Maybe I should be writing BDSM for Spice!
    Thanks Judy. Crossing fingers for you too!

  10. There are reasons why I never would tell my editor that the synopsis significantly changed. Among them is that if the first three have resulted in a request as long as the synopsis is broadly similar, it is not going to matter.
    Equally on their part, if they suddenly see a problem in the first three chapters or indeed the synopsis that they didn’t notice the first time around, they will tell you.
    Fingers crossed for good news and a request for the full.

  11. My ears are burning! LOL. πŸ™‚

    Jackie, all I can say is…it’s worth it, darling, don’t doubt it. I just got to hold my first book in my hand, and you will not be sorry you went through this slog with Cat and Sean, not when it leads to you holding them as a real live book.

    Keep the faith!

  12. Michelle – if it had changed a little bit I probably wouldn’t have told her. But the story had departed from the synop quite significantly. Her feedback on the synop in April warranted a rethink of the plot and I didn’t want to risk her not wanting the full based on a synop that wasn’t accurate any more. I would have had to write an updated one anyway too. I think it’s much better now – I hope!! Anyway, thanks so much for the good lucks. I’ll need it.

    Maisey – thanks hon! This one’s been a absolute b*gger. You know how much I’ve been wailing about it. I hope Cat and Sean become a book – seeing you with your covers has given me resolution to keep going I can tell you that much. If they EVER get anywhere, there will be blood in those pages.
    Thanks for your faith in me, m’dear.

  13. Jackie – you know I’m cheering in your corner! Not much to add from what all these lovely bloggers have said but just wanted to say that I KNOW all this hard work will pay off!


  14. Super hugs from me Jackie. Gosh you have had a long ride! But hopefully it will all come out in the wash. I *feel* it is your time soon! Caroline x

  15. Rach – cheers lovie! You rock! It’s hard yakka this writing business huh? πŸ™‚

    Caroline – yep, it has been a long one. I wish I could say it’s been pleasant but it hasn’t. Thanks for the hugs, m’dear. πŸ™‚

  16. Hi,

    Jackie you cannot possibly throw in the towel, you’ve come too far!

    Chill, chill, chill, she says, and dive in at the deep end and have some blogging fun to reboost morale!

    I’d just finished No3 novel (edited) on Monday and decided to take a few days away from writing and so set out on blogging fun-time – touring the Super Highway looking in blog windows.

    I fell on a “blogfest”, something I swore I wouldn’t get involved in again, but did.

    It’s great because you get valuable feedback from complete strangers (not regular supporters of your blog) and of those who visit your blog (to read your excerpt) often as not some will become writer friends!

    Goss = a lot of grumping going on around the net about long waits on replies to subs and requested re-writes as stalling tactics, apparently, because output is higher than sales figures, hence big-name autors getting first shot at monthly slots. So, you’re not alone!!

  17. Hang in there Jax. We all are there, rooting for you !

    LOL..About that BDSM spice..I sure have to see it πŸ˜‰ I reserve the first dibbs in case you venture into it, eh?

  18. Francine – Yeah, you’re so right. I need to chill! Stalling tactics huh? I think the best remedy for all of that is diving back into the wip. But perhaps taking a day off is a good idea too. Anyway, the towel won’t be thrown just yet. Thanks for the support. πŸ˜‰

    Ju – Lol re the Spice! Thanks for the faith too. πŸ™‚

  19. Jackie, I don’t think you should read ANYTHING into the fact that you haven’t heard back. Silence is just that, silence. It means nothing. As you’ve said, concentrate on your WIP. It’s the ONLY thing we have that is within our control . . . making our stories the best that we can! Good luck!


  20. Amy – no, I’m not reading anything into the silence (other than worrying whether she got it or not) it’s more a case of ‘sigh, waiting again. Will I EVER move on with this?’. Yeah, I know re the WIP. Bit burned out creatively to be honest though. Getting this story right has taken a lot out of me. Thanks for the luck!

  21. Hang in there, Jackie. I know waiting is a pin in the butt, but at least you know to write other stories in the meantime. It doesn’t make the waiting easier (we’re woman – we can multitask!), but like Maisey, once your call comes through you can have 5,6, even 10 accepted within a year. Wouldn’t that be totally fab???

  22. Hugs Jackie. It’s been tough. But I so admire your tenacity and your output. You’re an inspiration to us all and I know we’ll be reading your books one day.


  23. I checked your blog expecting news! Bah, I feel your pain re. the synopsis, I hope next week brings good news πŸ™‚

  24. Sounds like what you need is the buzz and excitement of a new story while you wait, lol.

    Do you submit to other places or just HMB? I know some writers in your position publish elsewhere while waiting to hear back from the bigger publishers. It keeps the creative juices flowing …

  25. Awww, Jackie. I feel for you. I can’t tell you what you could/should have done with the story, but you really are an inspiration. I love checking in here and following you on your journey. You’ve had some awesome posts. Just remember, everyone’s rooting for me!! You’ll get there.

  26. Maya – It certainly is a pin in the butt! Lol! But 5, 6, ready to go – ha! I may do if I didn’t have to rewrite them all whenever I get any ed feedback! Ah well, I’ve got one completed and I seem to have avoided all the errors in that, that I made in previous ones. Good eh?

    Suzanne – aren’t you a sweetie? πŸ™‚ Thanks. Not sure how much of an inspiration I am – you didn’t see me last week blubbering on the couch and telling my husband I’m giving up! πŸ˜‰

    Lorraine – I know. πŸ™

    Jane – no, I’m not submitting anywhere else. I know, I know, I should diversify. It’s just that all my ideas are MH and I can’t seem to get myself in the mindset of a different category. Or even a different publisher. I should try harder maybe.

    Kaily – you’re a sweetie too! And thanks for saying that lovely stuff about the blog. Feel it’s largely just moaning on my part. Anyway, hope I get there. Maybe I should do what Jane suggests and diversify.

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