Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Here I sit...in a dizzying panic as I stare at that menacing number on my calendar.  There stands a mere 15 days between me and the Shark Deadline.  (Is it just me or does that have a terrifyingly ominous ring to it?)

Only 20 pages.  People keep reminding me in a sweet attempt to impetrate a feeling of empowerment.  But it fails miserably as I know only too well that if (and this is a GINORMOUS if) the Shark is interested in my 20 pages (which will happen when green pig faeries teleport to the conference themselves), those 20 pages will have to mesh with the rest of HALLO.

When I began writing HALLO, I was armed only with a flaming need to write.  And write I did...EVERYTHING.  The beginning of HALLO was tired, filled with backstory and a lot of meaningless mumble.  *Hear my critique partner sigh*  As I began to learn more about the craft of writing, I changed the beginning of the story-more than once.  Amped it up, gave it a zing and meshed it in.  Now that the Shark is critiquing the first 20 pages, I've completely "cut the crap" and started where the story starts. With the gas station scene.

Now that I've got a lilliputian morsel to work with, I must sift through the mountain of bs to identify anything of necessity and tuck it piece by piece, into the remainder of the story.  All, I might add, in the event that the Shark requests pages.  However, whether or not she requests pages will not deter me from this endeavor. 

As my fellow conference goer, @cambellshauna said, worst case scenario would be when the Shark says, "Here's where I stop reading and why..."   (Or it might be when the PR rep for Murder Goes South pulls me from the the lockjaws of the reef dweller!)  But I know that any time at all with her will be highly rewarding as will any feedback she gives.  Even if her razor sharp shark teeth are dripping with HALLO's lifeblood, I will still benefit.  Does that eradicate the lead-winged butterflies swarming in my belly or diminish the nervous tic I seemed to have acquired in my left eye?  Nay.  But I do recognize the HUGE opportunity here and as always, I can't wait to jump in and ask questions later.


  1. It is a huge opportunity, and you will do great. If you want to e-mail them over I would be happy to read your first 20 pages.

    I've never seen any of it before so I will be able to look at your 'new beginning' with a fresh eye.

    If nothing else I can tell you as a reader what I think you've forshadowed. What I'm looking forward to, what I think it's about and what if anything confuses me.

    It's not much but it might be helpful. You will do great!

  2. I absolutely will do. That sounds wonderfully soothing. Thank you!!

  3. Val! You're doing an amazing job! Your hard work and determination show and all you're learning will only make editing the rest even easier. Besides, if you get a request, you can take a few MONTHS to get it to her. I say - jump off that bridge when you come to it. For today, your 20 pages are beginning to sparkle like a Cullen in the sunlight. Watch me *curtsy* to you and your dazzling new 20 pps.