When Your "Aha!" Becomes "Oh No" to "Hmm Ok"

Just this past weekend, I attended the Muse Boston Writing Conference and it was a great experience. I got to sit down with teachers, writers, agents, columnists, etc. The works to say the least. But…I should have known that congregating with such people would have worked my mind grapes to another level. So much that I have begun to question the novel that I had finished back in February.


So here’s the story, family. This was my”Aha” moment. My novel falls within the young adult fiction genre. You guys know I’ve was picking at my brain back in November and then on to finish this piece. I mean you knew the joy that I had when I finished it. I am still in the editing process but it was coming (slowly) along. That same day I had an editor read the first pages of my piece and she was gushing at the idea and the voice and writing.

Hence me on Cloud 9 – I have a winner here. My “Aha” moment. I’m on the right track. This could be it!

Then I had lunch with a bunch of lovely ladies including Regina Brooks of Serendipity Literary Agency. It was great talking to Regina who I now absolutely love. Very down to earth and very easy to talk to. Founder of Serendipity, you were serendipity to me. But enough of that. So when I pitched this is Regina over lunch, who by the way represents lots of work in the YA genre: A senior high school girl must decide whether she will defy her destiny or take her place along a group of Grim Reapers as a foretold ender of the war between angels and demons, I was looking for another great encouragement. Another AHA moment to send me over the edge into bliss.

But what really happened was she looked at me and said (I’m paraphrasing) “You basically just described the entire YA fantasy general in the line. All agents who have basically seen that exact thing. The market is saturated with what you exactly pitched.”

Oh No. Cloud disintegrates. Crash down to earth. Imagine the Wild E. Coyote falling down the ravine.

I want to write. But the real goal is to get published. To find an agent, get out there and sell my books. So as I was listening to her give me advice, in the back of my mind I am thinking, I think going to have to scrap my book. I wasn’t even tearing up about it. Maybe I was numb or maybe I was surrounded by people who I had NO intention of showing my emotions to. But as I exited the lunch and headed out, I really started to think about it. Does it have to end here?

Hmm ok. We’re going to keep going.

I am going to finish my piece, mainly because I think I owe it to my characters to finish the work that I started. But at the same time, I had have two other ideas that I have been playing around with. One within the YA genre and the other an adult novel. I just gotta keep going. Whenever life throws you a prospective change, don’t run from it but embrace it. It’s simply a turn in the road and you just need to adjust your focus. The goal at the end of the road hasn’t changed. Your approach does.

So I going to be double-fisting, stretching myself even further out. I guess all of my joking piece about cheating on your piece (see The Dangers of Two-Timing…Myself or When It’s Ok to “Two-Time” on Your Work) is coming to fruition. I guess I’ve become a clairvoyant!

One thought on “When Your "Aha!" Becomes "Oh No" to "Hmm Ok"

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  1. I went to Muse 2012 also — and with a similar result! I realized there are quite a few problems with the novel I've been shopping and I'm back to the drawing board. Like you, I'm not ready to give up on the story, but there's a lot of work ahead. Overall, I feel like I got a lot of great ideas from Muse, good directions. We'll see.


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