Friday, June 11, 2010

Dear Books I've Written--I Owe You A New Look

Dear Christine's Books,

I have been busy revising my fourth book (you know who you are and we'll talk later), and I've been making my plans for my next two Contemporary Romances tickling my idea center of my brain. But I've been rude and I have forgotten to remember you, my first three books, in all my pushing forward and planning for my future.

First of all, you might want to know that it was one of our CPs who reminded me about you. She suggested that I go back and take a look at all of you again and transform you into contenders in the writing world. What? I thought about it. Why would I want to face you all again? I was "just learning." I didn't even revise the #1 or #2 (I believed copy editing was revising--laugh now). But she suggested I review you all again, think about entering you into contests after I tweak you into shape based on all I have learned.

Interesting idea. And you know what? I agree.

Number 3? You've been resurrected already. I had all but buried you when same CP said, rename your book and enter it into the MAGGIE again. Now you're on your way to two other contests and I've submitted you to a publishing house. Woohoo. Where will that lead? Who knows? But I am glad we're working together again.

Number 2? Oh, I was so proud of you when I finished you. I had a structured plot, a virgin (haha), a big story and I set it in CANADA. According to a writer I met from Canada at last year's RWA National Conference, Canadian settings don't sell. What the heck, eh? Well, that might be true, but I have news for you. You're going back out there. I'll change the setting to reflect this interesting tidbit of information and send you back into the gauntlet. We can do this. Really. We can. You deserve a chance.

And now, my Number 1 manuscript? The first book of my heart. The one I wrote with joy, freedom and an absolute lack of understanding about POV changes within a scene being VERBOTTEN. Well darling, I am going to give you another chance. You deserve it. You taught me that I had the power within me to make my dream come alive. You made me a WRITER. Thank you for that gift. I want to give you another chance.

You see, my darling books, I have a tendency to cut my losses and move forward rather quickly. If at first I don't succeed, I try again with another book. Oh, I know all about revision now (thank you book number 3 and number 4 for that lovely lesson). And I know I have to keep producing new material, but I had moved forward believing the old was useless. And for that thought, I owe you an apology.

You are not useless. You are my first books. You have potential. I have grown as a writer with each and every one of you. Book 1? You restored my childhood dreams. Book 2? You enriched my understanding about the craft of writing. Book 3? You validated my writing when you finaled in the 2009 MAGGIE, and when you were requested many times. Wow. Proud moments. Happy moments for me.

Book 4? You continue to make me stretch out of my comfort zone and you've taught me to understand how to approach my next book. Thank you for making me face the one person in my life I never addressed emotionally in my prior books. I love you for that gift.

So my darling books, we are going to head into the next months of writing with a renewed commitment. I'm redressing you in finer clothes and sending you back out into the world. You're going to travel again to contests and publishers and agents. It's time to up the ante and challenge myself to pursue my dreams in a new way.

And now a brief note to my as yet unwritten books. You know who you are. I will write you. I will begin plotting book 5 after Nationals. I'll write the first draft before October rolls around (thank God I am a fast first draft writer). And then we'll journey forward. You'll be a part of my collection of arrows. Arrows I am sending out into the world every chance I get.

Thank you my books. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your creative and intellectual gifts to me.




Talli Roland said...

What a sweet note to your books! Sounds like you're on your way to a great relationship! Good luck to all of you.

Christine said...

Yes--I believe we are on our way to a fabulous relationship.


M.V.Freeman said...

Excellent attitude...
My letter would be like this.

Dear stories,
Story #1, I love you so, but I must finish you and move on. Don't take it personal. You will get done.
To the rest of my unfinished stories, and ideas that float about, I am coming for you. Beware.
Yours truly,

I am so glad you have found your loves again Christine! :-)

Christine said...

Thanks Mary--now if I could just find those missing brain cells so I can continue revising my 4th book LOL.


Jody Hedlund said...

Awesome, Christine!! Love to hear your plans for all your books! I had to chuckle when I read that you once thought copy-editing was revising, because I think so many of us once fell into that trap! :-)

Ellen Brickley said...

Good luck to you and your book-children, Christine :) I hope they all find wonderful homes!

Wendy Marcus said...

I loved my first book. Loved the hero. Loved the heroine. But I knew nothing of plot. Maybe some day I'll go back. Truthfully, it needs so much work I'd probably have to start from scratch to make it marketable. And right now I have so many other ideas I want to get down.

And bad news...I'm about to be bumped off your followers photos. Oh, I know, I'll still be there, somewhere, but not front and center. Good for you though! Means you're getting more popular by the day!!! I hope to meet you at National by the way!

Christine said...

Hi Jody: I know--first book was not revised, but it did have a plot. It's biggest problem was head hopping. I believe I can fix it. But I'm glad I've learned HOW to fix my writing -- that will help. Nothing major planned. Minor surgery. As for the second book, I plotted it to the nth degree and made sure I didn't head hop, but my heroine is flat. I know how to infuse her with depth and plan to do it without revising the plot too much.

Christine said...

Thanks Ellen! I appreciate your kind wishes for my book children.

Christine said...

Wendy: I know what you mean! I have so many ideas for new books, but I believe I'll spend a bit of time on the first fifty pages of each of the first two books, revise the synopsis and query them. If I get nibbles, great. And if not, well, there's always the Golden Heart :-).

I hope to meet you at Nationals as well. I should set up a meeting place while I am there. And even if I don't see your lovely photo on my blog follower list, I know you're still there :-)