Monday, October 3, 2011

Getting Over Your First Love

Story-wise, I'm finding this impossible.

They say you never get over your first love, and whoever "they" are must have met me in another life. I can't let go of my first novel because I fell in love with it, even though it's fairly obvious no agent is ever going to do the same.

I'm even working on a new story, but it isn't helping. So what am I doing wrong?

1) Encouraging my CP's to draw me pictures of the character I just might love most of all:

LOOK AT HIM! That's my Michael. I almost fell on the floor when I saw this rendering by Chessie. How amazing is she? How amazing is he? Those blue eyes! That devilish grin! The trenchcoat! HE MAKES ME SO HAPPY!

But right after I almost bawled from happiness, I wanted to bawl from sadness. Why? Because no one will ever know Michael if he's stuck in a Word Document that wasn't "the right fit" for all the agents I queried. And that makes me very, very sad.

2) Not Hitting Fast Forward on the Ipod when LBD-related songs come on.

I never had an official playlist while I was writing. It was more like I'd hear a song and think this fits perfectly! So naturally, I put them all on my Ipod.

But now, what happens every time I hear The First Time by Lifehouse, or Some Hearts by Carrie Underwood, or even Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know by Britney Spears (yeah, I said it.)? Oh, that's right. I want to bawl. Again.

3) I Compare my WiP to my finished MS. Constantly.

Why is it taking me so much longer to write this one? Why don't I hear these characters talking in my head 24/7 like I did the last time? Why does my word count seem to inch up at a deathly slow pace that makes me want to gouge my eyes out when my last ms was 96K after 4 months?

Yeah. Comparing and contrasting doesn't fly in relationships, and it doesn't fly in writing, either. So why can't I let go?

Because I still love this story, and I still believe in it. And, because I just counted the actual number of rejections I received, and I'm only at 15. That's nothing compared to the rejections other authors racked up before landing their agents.

So I've decided to tweak my query again, and keep going until I reach a number of rejections worth crying over, or until someone offers rep - whichever comes first. But even then... will the love affair end?

Tell me, peeps. Do you have a story sitting in your drawer that you still pine for?


  1. I could have written this entire post about THE TRAVELERS, word for word. (Except the playlist. Some of TT's songs are actually *on* the ONE playlist. I know. I'm an idiot.)

    I even have the same number of rejections! And you're right when I look at it like that, it doesn't seem so awful - but 15 people turning their backs on something you think is so awesome is just...yeah. There are no words.

    Thank goodness LYM KICKS BUTT.

  2. Oh good, I still have you both beat on rejections! I'm at 32. (Of course, I did start sooner. I think.) So neither of you should be allowed to mope until I'm dying of rejections.

    So anyway! I honestly don't think you should ever fully give up on LBD. Put it aside for a few months, work on the WiP, then come back to it in the spring or something and see what you want to change/keep the same. And then you can just go and query again. It's magical! *frolics in a land of rejections and queries and many, many drafts of TN*

    But yeah. If it means this much to you, if you seriously can't stop thinking about it, then you shouldn't give up.

  3. Yes, there is still one that I miss, but will probably never work on again. We shall see. Thanks for sharing.

    Oh, and yes you should go back to it if you still love it. You never know.

  4. I don't think you should ever have to get over your first love. If you truly love it, if it's the story that brings you the most joy, then you should NEVER give up on it. You just keep going until it's out there, somehow. Sure, you keep writing other things on the side. But there is no reason to shove a story you love in a drawer and forget about it. I completely disagree with that.

  5. If you don't want to give up on it--don't. Keep sending it out!!!

    But it is unfair to compare a new WiP to an old one. You can love both, but not in the exact same way. Give the new WiP a chance--it may surprise you!

  6. Good luck! Sounds like you still believe in and love that novel, so I say go for it!