Reading the title of this, one might think I’m talking about an illegal subtance. Yes, I just thought of that while I was writing this entry. I’m a little naive. Remind me to tell you about the knee pads and the Christmas party sometime. Took me nearly an hour to catch onto that.
No, I don’t need drugs, although it could be argued I need psychiatric help. I’m tearing apart LET’S DISH to change its genre. That’s right – the chick lit is getting a romance make over. Not for the hell of it, mind you. I have an editor interested in it. The changes would be minor, I think, except apparently this particular publisher no longer publishes chick lit. That’s a problem.
Yes, I’m an idiot and didn’t read the guidelines closely enough. You see, I met the an editor from this company when I was in New Jersey two years ago, and while all the other pubs were down on chick lit, these folks were gung-ho for it. The editor was a lovely lady, and I really was tempted to submit LD right then and there. However, they were a little on the small potatoes side and there was speculation they would fold any second. Obviously they’re still around, and have done well it seems. Their authors love them, and everything I’ve read about them is favorable, so I went for it.
But stupid me didn’t read the fine print. Since I met that editor, they’ve changed their focus and publish romance only. Good one, Catie. Break a cardinal rule and send a women’s fic manuscript to a romance publisher.
However, the editor on whose desk it landed liked it. Gave me some terrific compliments and spent an obviously substantial amount of time making very specific notes for me. All great things. But now I have to change genres to make it publishable for her company. Not that there’s a guarentee, but I think the chances are pretty good. (Cross your fingers, folks… this might be it. Just don’t hold your breath.)
So I know what I want to do and where I want to go with ti. But it’s a substantial re-write, which starts with a new first chapter. And there’s my problem. The first line.
In college, other kids used to hate me because I could whip out a term paper in one sitting. Twenty pages? No problem. Let me review my notes and I’ll see you in two hours. Always got As on my papers. Yes, I was an annoying pain in the… well, you get the idea. What no one knew was while it took me no time at all to write those papers, it took me days to get the first line. Once I could formulate that first line, I was in business. But coming up with that sucker was like doing a root canal sans anesthesia. Still is. Which is why my first lines tend to suck, and why I need a whole new first chapter for LD.
So that is what I am doing at this very moment… thinking of a first line. I know where the scene will go, I know what happens, but where do I start? I need a first line. And blogging about it ain’t helping. So I guess I’d better get on it, huh? Oh joy.