NaNo Success: The Pros and Cons, Part 2

I was giddy beyond belief…and foolish. Without carefully reading over The Wolves of Argonne, I sent it off to Evernight Publishing. The first email I received from them was the word count wasn’t enough. I had read it wrong (see: rushing things and not reading properly). I had to fix the word count and resubmit. I banged out about 3k more words and sent it back. The contract came in a few days. I was excited. Three golden nuggets in one month!

Reality struck when I got the news from the publisher that the editor found the story lacking in the strength they were used to seeing in me (I had two previous publications with them) and the piece was childish. I was crushed. I had to agree I didn’t put my best foot forward but…childish? They requested a pre-edit and changed my editors. I was also told several rounds of editing would have to be completed.

In my heart, I knew I couldn’t disappoint this publisher. The praise heaped on me on the two previous publications made me realize I was lazy in my work on The Wolves of Argonne. I took the manuscript and the bit of notes from the new editor and rolled up my sleeves. One thing I pride myself in is fixing it well on the first shot. Several round of editing wasn’t something I wanted to do. Why not go for the jugular on the first shot and cleave it to three bouts? I edited the crap out of the manuscript with a critical eye. I added more elements to (hopefully) strengthen the piece. In all, not counting the words I cut, I added about 5k more words to it. I sent it back to the publisher, hoping that my failure in giving them what they expect from me didn’t compound tenfold.

Happily, the editor—who had read the first big steaming pile of crap—liked the changes. A couple of rounds later, I had my proof copy and my first novella going to eBook. If I get lucky and sell enough, they’ll offer a print version on their site. I’ll dream that dream but the ultimate goal is to get my written word out there, preferably by using a publisher.

My last completed NaNo work was sold a little over a month ago. This is got attention galore. I had planned it for some anthology in the future and was willing to wait. Unfortunately, it seemed like an eternity of wait. Then Evernight went with a new line. I thought this story would be perfect for the Romance on the Go line. Apparently, so did Evernight. I’d say it was my most polished work because I picked at it about every month, looking for plot holes or adding a new idea in. This is a partner story to Dream Weaver. I have one more story to tell from the character in the original.

What has this last NaNo taught me? Go with my strengths and have more than one thing on the table. It helps me with writer’s block and all the ideas bouncing in my head. This is year is the year of the novella for me. I plan to get two more publications out there before NaNo 2012. Come October, I’ll have a sit down with my muse and decide the best course of action for tackling those thirty days of madness.

Yes, it feels good to achieve my goals. It near hurts to dream so long as you put your foot forward and walk the path instead of waiting for opportunity to knock on your door.