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Friday, August 27, 2010

Weak Reaction

At the risk of incurring Elder Brother's wrath, I will indulge in a little whiny-buttism under cover of musing.

Last year's MLS contest showed up when I wasn't ready. I suppose I could argue I was totally ready since nothing came of it, but I didn't feel ready.

Last night, a new small press appeared on FB, PYP, which is looking for YA fantasy of 50 - 100K words. Sound like a book you may have heard about recently?

My first reaction? Panic. Reluctance. Uncertainty. A strong desire to go to bed and not think about it.

This is my first reaction to every new situation: panic, reluctance, uncertainty. In therapy school, I learned it's a "weak" reaction as opposed to a "strong" reaction. Removing the negative and positive connotations, the words in this context simply mean rather than charging like a bull, I slip away like a rabbit when confronted. How about snake? I'd rather be a snake than a rabbit. I slip away like a non-poisonous snake.

So, this PYP is brand new and looking for books that almost exactly match Elementals.
Where do I focus? On the issue of cutting 8000 words to qualify.

I'm already cutting words. What's the big deal about cutting more?

I don't want to. Why don't I want to? Because someone else wants me to. How immature is that? I could only act worse if I thumbed my nose and shouted "nanny-nanny, boo-boo." It's that old sin nature rearing its ugly head to say "you can't make me."

I could also say cutting 500 extraneous words is one thing, but cutting a chapter or two is something else entirely and I don't know how I'd do it. That would move the immaturity factor back into the realm of problem-solving instead of knee-jerking.

As I think about it, October is a whole month of 30+ days away. I should be able to revise this book in 30 days, and maybe if I get close enough to 100K, the editor will have some suggestions on what to cut. Or not. Maybe she'll bend and say okay to what's there. Hey, if I'm going to go with arrogance, I may as well go all the way, right?

I could always get rid of the prologue.

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