It’s been more than a week since my last progress report, but these few weeks in writing doesn’t have much of a ring to it. So what’s happened? I’ve heard from two agents. One was one of the four who requested pages. She was very nice. Said the concept is fabulous, but that it wasn’t quite the right fit for her. The other is one I queried during a time when she said every query would get a personal reply, even if it was a no, rather than a form rejection. A form rejection is a prewritten letter just saying no, with no reasons behind the no. Her response was also a pass, because she had recently signed an edgy YA, and that mine sounded too issue driven for her taste. So, no agent yet, but both rejections were encouraging in their way. Neither said the concept wasn’t sellable or that the writing was bad. The first specifically said it was likely an agent out there that will want it. But that she isn’t that agent. The other already had a project that could possibly compete. The interesting thing to me about her feedback is I don’t think of Random Acts of Nudity as an issue driven book. I see the sex tape as the catalyst of the story, not the focus of it. It’s an important part of the story but its not all sex tape all the time. but I’ve been working on the book for over a year, I’m too close to see it objectively.
Also going on is the editing class. It’s been really interesting so far. This week the task is to read the entire manuscript and cut any scene that does not advance the plot or the character arcs. I’m pretty pleased so far, I’ve found a couple of brief scenes that can go, but it doesn’t feel like I’ve got many wasted scenes. They almost all tie into either the overarching plot or are important to character growth. With one exception. There’s a scene just past the halfway mark that does neither. It’s just a sweet moment between the main character and her sister. I should cut it, but I can’t. I love it! Which means I really should get rid of it. There’s an adage that goes “kill your darlings.” It means don’t get so attached to any of your writing that you can’t change or cut it. It can apply to the wording of a sentence or entire scenes. I’ve never had a problem changing sentences, but hooboy, this one is tough. I’ve marked the scene to delete, but haven’t actually done it yet. My critique group is reading Random Acts this month. I’ll ask them if they think it should go.
I’ve also made a little more progress on the WIP. It’s very close to being finished. Maybe four more chapters until the end. If I can finish it by the end of the month, I’ll start a new novel for National Novel Writing Month.
And in baked goods news, I made banana bread from scratch just because I had all the ingredients on hand. It’s delicious, I don’t think I’ll ever use a mix again. I also made a deep dish pizza for my sister’s birthday dinner. It was just okay. Since I had left over ingredients I tried a different dough recipe and made a stuffed spinach. Also just okay. The pizza code is tough to crack, but I will prevail!