Where’s my motivation? Gone. Haven’t written any fiction in weeks, partly because I’m working on a consulting project and partly because the garden is calling to me to prune, clip, trim and plant. A page a day. I wish (but fail to do) I have the attention span of a gnat when spring comes along.
The last few weeks have been crammed with activities – lots of interviews for the consulting project, Pinterest, a bit of work updating the draft of my police book, Google+, sanding the &^%^*&$ deck, trying to become more proficient with Scrivener.
I attended the Festival of Authors and the Ontario Writers’ Conference, which was a terrific experience. Schmoozing with writers and fans of writing, listening to renowned speakers in the business. It was so good to chat with Dorothea Helms, Mark Leslie LeFebvre, Shelley Macbeth, Alysson Latta, James Fitzgerald and friends from WCDR and WCYR. I got some leads on speakers for the next season of the Writers’ Community of York Region meetings. Was convinced about the benefits of being more active on Wattpad and using Kobo to self-publish my anthology of erotic short stories.
In December when I’d registered for the conference, I’d signed up/paid for a Master Class and a pitch session with an agent. Well, duh…brain cramped that I was last Friday afternoon, I forgot the Master Class. I was actually doing a telephone interview when the reminder popped up on my computer screen. Question to self – do I blast down to Ajax or take it slowly and miss the class? Because I’m older and wiser, I decided to take my time. In early April, I’d ‘put on my big girl panties’ (my new favourite expression for courage) and submitted a synopsis and the first page of my novel The Fifth Man to Sam Hiyate for an elevator pitch session. The thing is, in between the time I sent in my documents and last Saturday’s elevator pitch session, I met with my two mentors, Sue Reynolds and James Dewar to discuss my 140,000 word first draft. Too long. Too many story arcs. Not clear on what the protagonist really wants. Too much back story. Too many coincidences. Character is not edgy enough. I wasn’t at all distraught. In fact, I told them that ‘tough love’ when it comes to critiquing my writing is what I need. None of the ‘what stayed with me was…’.
That evening, I cut 20,000 words. Stuck them in a ‘look at later’ file in Scrivener. Kept editing so I wouldn’t mourn the loss. Felt good about clearing out the word-cobwebs. And with Sam, instead of doing a real pitch, I explained (talking really, really fast) how the book had changed. He gave me some great advice, said he really liked my protagonist’s voice, but that I should jump right in to the action and keep up the suspense and danger elements. Cut it back to about 80,000 words, then give him a call. Yeah! But of course, I have to rethink the book. Luckily, there will be enough left to build a newer, more exciting mystery-romance novel. But I’ve been resisting getting back to working on it regularly.
Oh well, it’s raining so I think I’ll go plant the vegetables and let my mind wander for a while.