Trying to Get Back Up Again

Well, I did think I would do a few more posts than this but my inspiration to write continues to go up and down like a lady of the night’s underpants. Plus, my direction and confidence are wavering all over the place. It’s frustrating. The worst part is not having anything else out there. If you haven’t got anything on submission, it’s like there isn’t any hope and I hate that.

I do actually have a good many finished mss all stacked up on my harddrive but they all suffer from the same problem – chronic lack of coherent conflict. Yes, it’s a medical condition. Incurable. Or given that the course of treatment is rewriting them completely, pretty much incurable. Am I being too hard on myself about them? Possibly. But I don’t want to send anything that I’m not happy with. True, I’ll always have doubts with whatever I send, but when I can see glaring faults, I just can’t do it.

So what I’m left with is starting something new or rewriting. And at the moment, I am too daunted to do either. It all feels too hard. Especially writing plain old contemporary romance. Category makes this easy because that’s all they publish. But if you don’t write category or paranormal, or urban fantasy, or steampunk, or erotica, or suspense, how do you make your contemporary romance different to eveyone elses? Do publishers even want plain old contemporary, internal conflict driven romance? Or do you have to put a spin on it?

Sigh. Some days it’s easier just to take to one’s bed and eat chocolate. Happy Easter everyone.

11 thoughts on “Trying to Get Back Up Again”

  1. Hi Jackie, Just popped over to see how you were doing. Sorry that it’s not getting easier for you. My passion is also for writing contemporary, and I know what you mean about trying to break into the single title market with it. Last year at the conference, Alex Logan said about contemporary romance, that the only things really selling were series. I can only say that after finishing my last story, I decided to stay put in my little made-up town and add another layer. And…it’s so much fun! I’m really loving being back in this setting with a new set of characters, but also a few that I loved from last time as well.
    So, this is just an idea – but maybe you could take a familiar character or two, and give them another story. It might just get some of those writing juices fired up again. If that doesn’t work – I can only offer wine 🙂 Hang in there – Amanda.

  2. Aimee – It is a serious egg. Going to take me a while to get through it. Maybe by that stage, I’ll know what to do with the writing.

    Amanda – hey you! Yeah, re Alex, that’s pretty much why I’m seriously wondering what on earth I’m doing. I have got two linked stories but they’re both completely different. Oh, I don’t know. They say write from the heart but if no one wants the stories you write from the heart, then you have to write for someone else again and not yourself.
    Still, I guess there’s always wine eh?

  3. “Am I being too hard on myself about them? Possibly. But I don’t want to send anything that I’m not happy with”

    it’s very difficult to get interested in revisiting a story you’ve written when its been rejected by Harlequin. But so many people go on to sell their Harlequin rejections to other publishers that I wonder if you ARE being too hard on yourself. Are you sure the faults are as glaring as you think?

    Do your CPs agree that the stories have a chronic lack of coherent conflict? Can’t any of them be made to work?

  4. Happy Easter Right back at ya Jackie!!! When you find your mojo, can you let me know where you found it, so maybe I can find mine? My only advice would be to write what YOU want to read and have FUN. Forget about the publishing for a while. Easier said than done though… it’s what I tried to do with my current mss but the nearer to the end I get the more I start thinking if it’s publishable or not. And hey, what would I know? x

  5. Happy Easter Jackie – can I come over and share in that egg. Droolishous or what? Hope you r mojo comes back soon. We miss you regular posts. Caroline x

  6. Lacey – I do need my mojo. Sigh. Haven’t seen it have you?

    Janet – Maybe I am being too hard on myself. But rewriting when conflict is the issue is hard – at least it is for me. My problem is that pretty much the doubts I’ve had about my mss have been reflected in the comments the eds have told me. And I just don’t want to send something in that I KNOW is not the best I can do. But I guess they can be made to work. I’m actually doing one at the moment and it’s HARD. I am virtually rewriting it from scratch.

    Rach – I think you know whether it’s publishable or not. Carina have already given you a hint. 🙂 Perhaps when I find my mojo, I’ll get mine to find yours.
    Fun? Writing? No possible. 🙂

    Caroline – thank you m’dear! I hope it comes back too. Still have to figure out whether I’ve got anything useful to say.

  7. Jackie, chin up.
    Stop writing for a week and go and read. Pick something off the shelves that you wouldn’t normally choose. Read a totally different genre. Something completely and utterly different. And give yourself a chance to step back and see the bigger picture.
    And while you’re there, can you cut me a piece of that ginormous easter egg because I seriously need some!

  8. “If you haven’t got anything under submission…” I know exactly what you mean. I spent two months writing and had plans to send if off this month. Then I realized the conflict just wasn’t there. I tried to rewrite, but then I realized I didn’t know the conflict. So now I’m writing up notes for a new story until I figure out the one I just finished. But that means nothing has been sent to Harl since end of last summer (tho I did do SYTYCW). Will they notice the length of time in between?

  9. Scarlet – hope you got some chocolate!

    Marcie – so know what you mean about rewriting and conflict. I have the problem where I know what the conflict is but I don’t know the characters. As to them noticing – is it requested? If so, maybe. But don’t rush it. I did and to my cost.

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