This past November was one year ago that I started my current western historical romance titled SAWYER'S ROSE. This May will be one year of constant revisions to this manuscript of which I have edited at least seven times. Whew!
I sat this manuscript aside last May so I could take a rest from it and historical writing. In the meantime, I completed a rough draft of my first contemporary story ALL BUT THE FALL--Nurse meets cowboy. Wonder where I got that idea? Anyway, the time spent away from SAWYER'S ROSE did me good, as I was able to go back to the beginning once more, editing to make it even better these past few months.
I use to wonder why it took writers years to come up with their masterpiece manuscript. I had little trouble writing the first draft of SAWYER's ROSE in only a few months, but now that I am once again re-editing this story, I think I can safely say, "I get it!" Seven times through this entire story, grating through it to correct the errors new writers like me make, and doing it over and over is let's just say--intense.
I have to admit, there are times I get frustrated in the effort and the length of time it seems to be taking me to have this story ready to send out to editors/agents. I am so anxious for something to happen, but I am grounded by the awesomeness of my critique partners who are always full of encouragement that I am doing everything right and the time vested will be worth it. It also helps that I have beta readers who seem to love my stories and characters, which motivates me to keep writing and pursuing this dream of mine.
So the planning of SAWYER'S ROSE continues. Recently, I put the first 35 pages into the Georgia Romance Writers "Virginia Ellis Critique" for the second time. Last year was an enlightening experience into how much I didn't know about writing, but this year offered me a view of just how much I have improved in only one year. It felt good, even though I am sure I have a ways to go, but as I have mentioned before, SAWYER is going places and taking ROSE (and me) with him!
I will be entering this manuscript in the Maggies once again, but hopefully in better form. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Entering will get me a few more critiques from experienced authors and this can be invaluable, even if it means I go through the story one more time. Recently, a writer friend reminded me that I was pushing pretty hard and that if nothing else I should not forget to enjoy the journey. I run those words through my head any time I am wishing for things to happen faster and honestly, I have no doubts she is right.