I've been pulling words for THUMB out of my fingers for a while now, feeling like everything was terrible, that I was somehow approaching things from every wrong angle possible, that I was going to have one helluva time rewriting this book (assuming I could onsey-twosey my way through to the end of it).
I started to feel a little better when I got the idea for the medical device, but then I still struggled with the ship's mechanic chapter. I kept thinking of different directions to go with the scene and kept telling myself it felt like a housekeeping scene the way I was going at it. I just couldn't get a read on it that would let the words flow.
So I sat down with my notebook today, put the day's date, and then wrote the following: "Problems w/Chapter 6." On the second item, the solution to my problem with the scene hit. The rest of the page in that notebook starts with "OK, this is good." Then it goes on for a half page of how to revise the first two chapters to mesh up with the solution for the problems with Chapter 6. Then I've got a page of draft for the New New Chapter 1. And then I wandered into a query letter draft that ended up reading more a like synopsis for a page. I stopped that effort and sketched out the bullet points of what needs to be my query letter.
Let me explain.
My RWA chapter is having a special "members only" sit down chat and critique session with Mary-Theresa Hussey (senior editor of Luna, among other things). She's willing to look at the first two pages or query letter from any of our members. I thought about this opportunity, how I'd hate to pass it by. But I don't really want to have the first two pages critiqued. I've actually already been through that experience with HD and Teresa Nielsen Hayden. I've also had my query letter and first 30 critiqued by a multi-pubbed author, so at first I wasn't too eager to try to whip anything up for MTH and was content to listen to her pick apart the work of others.
But then I remembered how much I hate not knowing why an agent or editor passes on a query letter when that's all they've got. This is a perfect opp for that. So I'm trying to put together that query letter for a novel that's not even a fifth of the way finished.
Mark's been having all sorts of great success with finding a new job (hasn't landed one yet, but there are three possibilities that seem to be moving very fast from resume forwarding to interview to calling the references). I'm happy for him, but part of me is both relieved and irked that he's using up our good luck. Relieved, because it's a lot less likely with all this stuff falling into place for Mark that MTH is going to read my query and say "Send me more now". And irked, because of the same.