So, I e-mailed my editor yesterday…she’s still not crazy about my starting over and beginning this book at the point where T.J. and Sam meet. She really doesn’t want me to repeat scenes…even though it’s only three scenes that would be repeated. The rest of the book would show what happened “off stage” in book one, but what happened off stage in book one is of primary importance to T.J. And then it would continue well beyond where book one ended.

(Yeah, but where’s the point that T.J.’s life gets dumped upside down??? Isn’t that where the story has to begin???)

While I was thinking about (obsessing about?) all this yesterday, it occurred to me, I have an agent now! And that agent actually handled this contract for me, even though she never saw the proposal (she came in after that was turned in, but before the contract was offered), so I don’t even have to feel too guilty about asking HER opinion on the matter. That’s one thing an agent can do for you, right? Mediate issues between you and your editor?

She sees my editor’s point about not repeating scenes, but she says that’s a “personal opinion.” She also pointed out that when a publisher buys a book on a proposal, they do have a right to expect that the book you turn in will stick reasonably close to that proposal…which I sort of expected. That’s why I didn’t just start over on my own…I asked my editor first. (I really DON’T want to be a “difficult author.”) But my agent is going to read my proposal and offer an opinion.

There IS a compromise. I could just back up a few hours from my current beginning and write an opening scene that shows Dad and T.J. living their current life…I could get into T.J.’s conflicting feelings…and then go into my current chapter one. This would address my retreat friends’ concerns and would likely not tick my editor off because it’s still starting after book 1 ends. But I just keep coming back to that same old question…shouldn’t I begin the story at the point where T.J.’s life turns upside down? If the answer to that question is yes, I don’t know if I CAN compromise.

I feel like I just manufactured this whole situation in book two to create some drama…because the real drama in T.J.’s life happened off stage in book one. But I’m not supposed to write that, so I had to create some new drama, just so I’d have something to write about. If I go back and begin this story where T.J. met Sam, I wouldn’t need the drama I created in book 2…that wouldn’t be “the story.” The “story” would be “those hairy custodial issues/emotions,” which my editor thinks would be best not to deal with at all.

I’M SO CONFUSED!!!!! But I am anxious to hear what my agent thinks.

Maybe the real question is…do I have enough story if I begin where my proposal currently begins? What IS T.J.’s story?

(If nothing else, this struggle will give me something new to talk about in school visits…I think I’ll play my mandolin now and see if that helps me figure any of this out)


Oh yeah…I’ve got an agent now

11 thoughts on “Oh yeah…I’ve got an agent now

  • September 25, 2007 at 8:02 pm
    Permalink

    Not so random commenter

    sooo….scenes….off stage on stage….you are a playwright? if so, that is really awesome, as a theatre person myself. Books are cool too, if that is what you mean :0)

    Reply
    • September 26, 2007 at 6:16 pm
      Permalink

      Re: Not so random commenter

      Children’s books, actually. Though I have written classroom plays…and I think about writing a full length play (maybe for kids, maybe for grown-ups). I’ve got a teen-ager who is REALLY into theatre…he’s been involved in the local children’s theatre company for five years. And you don’t have a kid in theatre without getting somewhat into it yourself.

      Are you a playwright or an actress?

      Reply
      • September 26, 2007 at 8:20 pm
        Permalink

        Re: Not so random commenter

        That is nice, writing childrens books must be fun. I appreciate anyone who tries to get children involved in literature/theatre….especially theatre because it is under represented in public school english programs.
        I am trained as a director, I would love to get into playwrighting…but I find description easy to write…dialogue hard….so that is going to be a problem. :0)

        Reply
        • September 28, 2007 at 3:49 pm
          Permalink

          Re: Not so random commenter

          I’m the opposite…I find dialog easy, but description hard. That’s why I think I should get a little more serious about playwriting sometimes. But I love writing children’s books…

          Reply
          • September 28, 2007 at 4:05 pm
            Permalink

            Re: Not so random commenter

            You should definitely consider writting children’s plays, there is a lot of fluff out there for kids, and not enough stuff that actually has some amount of substance.

          • September 30, 2007 at 9:42 pm
            Permalink

            Re: Not so random commenter

            I don’t suppose you happen to know of any full length plays for kids that have substance? I’m on the board for the local children’s theater and we’re always looking for good scripts for our next production. (I keep thinking about writing one…I’ve been asked to several times. But I’m a little nervous about doing it backwards…i.e. having PEOPLE I KNOW performing before it’s ever published.)

          • October 1, 2007 at 12:36 pm
            Permalink

            Re: Not so random commenter

            I actually do not know of anyt good full length childrens plays…except for maybe the big musicals you already know. But I think you should give it a try…I know working on a show before it is complete and especially with actors you know may be weird…but workingshopping your piece is the best way to work out any kinks your eye didn’t pick up (you get a lot of feed back from performers about the script, you just need to pick and choose what you want to listen to and not let them dictate the script) and you end up with a better, more well rounded finished product completely ready for publication, and with work to back it up :0)

  • September 26, 2007 at 12:15 am
    Permalink

    So this is from TJ’s POV, right?

    Having read book one, I can see your point about starting where the two girls meet, because that really is when TJ’s world is rocked. Although, you’re right; you could start a few hours later, then maybe flash back???

    This is a tough call. Can you write two openings and show your editor? That’s probably what I’d do, as I’m so horrible at making decisions. šŸ™‚

    Whatever you decide, good luck.

    Reply
    • September 26, 2007 at 6:18 pm
      Permalink

      You read book one??? How nice of you!

      I’m horrible at making decisions, too…(I drive anyone I go out to dinner with nuts because it takes me FOREVER to decide what I want…and that’s just FOOD. So you can imagine how I am on big things like where to begin a book.)

      But I did talk to our agent and I think I’ve got my head screwed on straight again.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *