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Ok, I calm-, err, I mean, Writer X has calmed down. An ARC is on it’s way, which is fantastic since waiting until fall would have driven me straight to crazy. It’s probably not really as similar as it seems. I’ll give you an update once I get my anxious little paws on it.
The good news is that I’m working (Slowly, despite the threat of a smackdown.) on untangling some storylines, so it might not be too painful to steer the manuscript in a less similar direction. Maybe it will be the catalyst I need!
Do you know how many separate book ideas I currently have knocking on my brain door? I made a list yesterday while I was pouting.
So, even if I have to totally throw this one out (which I doubt I will), the keyboard will not go dusty.
Have I mentioned how awesome and supportive you all are? Thank you. The comments and emails really helped me feel better, and realize I was probably being silly.
Back to work!
Nathan Bransford posted a handy dandy revision checklist.
And here is a little wisdom from the editorial ass known as Moonrat:
“I find that I, personally, feel less regretful about taking a knife to a manuscript (my own or someone else’s) when I keep a separate document where I deposit everything I’ve parted with. There’s no reason you can’t use good material in something else later, and there’s no reason you need it now (unless you NEED it now–and be honest with yourself about the difference between “need” and “really really want”).”
Here’s a question-
So, Writer X is tooling along revising the manuscript she’s been working on for a year.
She hopes to begin submitting this summer.
She daydreams about how rocking it will be to work with a great editor, and see her book on the shelves in a couple of years.
She’s had good feedback, and she thinks this manuscript probably has potential.
Writer X takes a break from writing on Saturday to peruse a few publisher’s fall lists, when an upcoming autumn release catches her eye. There is a very similar protagonist, subplot, and secondary character to her own work in progress. It appears to be probably too similar. Not in any kind of plagiarism way, just in a crappy luck kind of way. If the book is a success, Writer X’s manuscript will be seen as a cheap imitation. If the book is a flop, Writer X’s manuscript will be seen as even more of an unmarketable cheap imitation.
Does Writer X-
A) Roast marshmallows over the glowing embers of a wasted year?
B) Submit her manuscript anyway and make a reputation for herself as an unoriginal hack?
C) Revise to the point of starting from scratch, replacing the characters, changing the plot, and ignoring the vision for the piece?
D) Or start fresh with one of those new ideas always swimming around. What’s another year or two? Draft or ten?
Please advise, dear reader, so that I may guide Writer X out from the pile of wet tissues, empty wine bottles, and despair.