Friday, August 16, 2013

Tough Author Decisions (Re: SEE ME)


Hi everyone.
I'm sad today.
I've had to make a difficult decision.

I'm putting my project, See Me, on hold.

Yes, I love this book.  It's my Irish fantasy that has magical people, leprechauns, and faeries.  It's the story my mom read out loud to my grandmother on her deathbed, and even though my grandmother couldn't open her eyes, she would chuckle at funny parts and remind my mom where she left off after breaks.


See Me was fun to write. In my mind and heart I know exactly how the story is supposed to feel...but getting that feeling across on paper is not always easy.  Sometimes it doesn't convey well enough for my liking.  For years I've felt that the story needs something.  Not just minor tweaks or changes, but something big.  Something dealing with the pacing of the plot and romance.  It's just "off" to me.  But no matter how long I ponder, the fix does not come to me.

This is why I decided to have a contest earlier in the summer to get beta readers.  I was hoping to get feedback that would spark a huge "AHA!" moment of clarity.  I got some amazingly helpful feedback about changes I can make to particular scenes, but as far as the overall storyline, I'm still drawing a blank.  

Here's the thing.  Many of my beta readers (and my mom) are in love with this book.  They "get it."  They can see where I was trying to go with it, and they jumped on for the ride.  Those girls will probably be frustrated at my choice to shelf the project.  Others simply could not get into it.  At all.  And I respect their honesty.

When it comes down to it, what matters most is how the author feels about it, and I'm not confident.  Even if I were to revise based on all the feedback I've received, it would still be missing that big "something" in my mind.  Here's a visual for you.  Imagine a book is like a house. Reading it is like walking through the house, room to room, until you exit through the back door.  Well, right now my rooms are decorated cute, but the purpose for some of the rooms feels obscure.  I could go through and make adjustments to the rooms so they're more pleasing to the eye, but at the end it still feels like the house is not as beautiful, comfortable, or large as it could be.  It needs structural, foundational work.  It needs to have the walls torn down and the floors evened out, and the layout changed.  It needs to be bigger.  That kind of work is time consuming, and it requires the builder to have a very specific plan in mind.  

I have no plan.  It's like my imagination is broken when it comes to this storyline.


I could throw my hands up and say, "It's good enough. Let's just put it out there. Some will love it."  But it feels wrong to do that.  As an author who values quality, I would regret it.  I know that no matter how good I think one of my books is, not everyone will agree; however, it's an author's confidence and love for a story that helps them not to be crushed by bad reviews.  Until I have that confidence I cannot consciously charge people for something I've written.


I really thought I could get it done this summer, and I surged forward with hope in my heart.  I got a lot of you very excited, and I hate leaving you hanging like this.  I'm open to publishing the story someday if inspiration for a proper revision hits me.  But for now, See Me is shelved.  I'm sorry.  Truly.  

Now I'm going to take my children to the pool and try to release some of the anxiety that's been holding me captive.  Sometimes things don't work out the way we planned and it royally sucks.  All we can do is move forward.  I hope you'll move forward with me on this.

I want to thank Carrie McRae for her amazing, tireless volunteer work on the cover images.  I couldn't love them more!  I also want to thank Jenny, Samantha, Tiffany, Kayleigh, Luce, Julie, Maya, Jamie, and Brooke for beta reading!  I'm saving all of your notes for future use.  As to you, the readers, thank you for supporting me in my venture to self-publish. 

Love and hugs,


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22 comments:

  1. Oh, no! Wendy, that's a tough decision, but I am super sad I won't get to read it. :(

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  2. I'm so sad to hear that, Wendy! I was really looking forward to reading it!

    I'm hoping that even if you shelved it, it'll only be a for now thing and you can go back to it at some point with the inspiration to fix what doesn't feel right to you!

    I would also like to thank you for being so honest and saying that you don't feel the book is totally right for you and won't publish it.

    Maybe you need to take a vacation to Ireland to get the inspiration right? ;)

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    1. Dude. I LOVE that idea!!!! :-)
      And thank you.

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  3. That is such a shame Wendy, but surely you had your reasons to do it, I so hope I get to read this story soon, I'm so looking forward to it.

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  4. Sorry you had to let it go, for now. Hope you find what's missing soon and thank you for sharing. <3

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  5. I feel you Wendy. I have a novel I've been working on for years now and I've completely rewritten the book because it just felt wrong. Stick to your guns and know that we love you! When you feel ready to release it, then we're TOTALLY on board!!! HUGS!

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  6. This makes me so incredibly sad. I feel so lucky that you let me beta read it and I absolutely loved it. I thought it was amazing just as it was.

    Major hugs

    Kayleigh

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  7. Sending you ALL THE HUGS! :)

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  8. Aw Wendy! Although I'm really sad because the concept of 'See Me' sounded amazing, I primarily wanted to read it because YOU were the person who'd have written it, and your value for writing quality work that you can be completely proud of just proves yet again why I couldn't be a huger fan of both you and your work. I fully respect your decision to put it on hold until you find that spark of inspiration that will do justice to this story which obviously means so much to you. Until then, I'll be happily rereading Sweet Evil and Sweet Peril haha

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  9. I love you and I believe in you! Hearing this makes me sad as I truly wanted to read SEE ME! But it's your story and you need to feel good with it!!!

    Maybe you put it down, let the summer pass and maybe at some point the BIG SPARK comes without you searching for it!

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  10. Here's hoping for that next big inspiration to hit someday in the near future! I'm sad I won't be able to read See Me this fall, but I think it's great that you want the story as perfect as it can be. Listening to the praise others give you is one thing, but it can be hard to believe when you still think there's something wrong. Good luck! Hopefully I'll be buying See Me and putting it on my shelf next to all your other books someday soon.

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  11. I'm sad with you, and I completely understand where you're coming from. Here's to getting that much needed "aha" moment, so we don't have to wait too long ;) *hugs*

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  12. I think the biggest problem is your diving in to leprican territory. You hear leprican and think of lucky charms. The amarican readers don't read mutch abou them its always horror movie or almost always you need to make it your own version and not the typical average gold. Gold is ussualy translated to tresure but what is worth tresuring. Famly, freinds, children. The possibiltys are endless. I'm not a beta reader but I am an avid one the leprichan thing shied me way but I'm all ways willing to try somthing new

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  13. much love to you! you'll get there, but maybe you just need a mental refresh. Enjoy the little ones!

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  14. I really respect your decision. This is your baby and you should feel great about it. I like the suggestion of a trip to Ireland (need a travel buddy?). Wishing you the best. In the meantime I will continue to enjoy your Sweet series :)

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  15. So sad I won't be getting a chance to read this anytime soon. But I totally understand and respect your decision to not put something out there that you don't feel 100% comfortable with. I only hope that after some time inspiration with strike and you'll find just what you want for this story!

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  16. We do what we have to do, right? I am also bummed I won't have the chance to read this, at least in the near future. But...it's like the women who try and try to get pregnant, give up to adopt and then BAM...they're pregnant.

    Moral to the story...it will hit you when you least expect it and it will be great.

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  17. I'm so sorry to hear you've been having a tough go at it. :(
    I hope another marvelous idea crashes into your mind so that I can read more of your work someday. :)

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  18. From one writer to another, I have a feeling something with the structure is wrong and that is why it feels off and not quite right to you. I'm sure it can be fixed though! I think it's good though that you don't want to publish it before it's at that level it needs to be!

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  19. This is a bummer ( I was so freakin' excited) but I understand. If you don't love something that you put out in the world, it will never let you go. You'll always think "what if" and "if only". It's better to wait and get it right.

    That's one of bonus' of self-publish! You can do what you want. :)

    I hope you find what your looking for and we'll get to read See Me at some point in time.

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  20. Okay, I admit this bums me out. But I <3 you for it because well...that's a huge decision, and you went with your heart, and your honesty and insight just impresses the hell out of me. And yeah, I love the house analogy. =) Chin up, hope you have a blast for the rest of the summer and get the down time you deserve hun!!

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