Welcome to my nightmare.
Where do I even start? A lot came together here.
- I had done a lot of socialising for one person in the last day and was looking at even more of it.
- I was acutely aware that my query was for an unfinished book and there was little I could do to sharpen it up because I had no idea what would actually happen.
- I was beating myself up for not sending the query for book 1 which was finished and in the trenches, so a critique would be actually useful. Not thinking of that was stupid. (I was stupid. You see where this is going, right?)
- I was about to show my whole ass with the queries I overhauled to the best of my knowledge even though my own query was trunking in the trenches. (Hubris! Hypocrisy!)
- I would have to get through this in a workshop lead by CL Polk who is an amazing person, wonderful inspiration, and also headliner of the event
No pressure. I mean, I was set up good with the query I sent, right? No regrets there, right? The workshop wasn’t being tiring in unexpected way or anything, right?
Yeah, yeah. I was overwhelmed before it even started. But at least I was holding up. (I also had ordered a second weighted blanket which definitely had nothing to do with my urge to turn into a human pancake and just – let things blow over.)
I don’t know why this felt like the shortest of the workshops. And still I feel I remember most from this one. Maybe because seeing Polk’s perspective on queries was something new. We get fed the same formula from all sides (ngl, I crafted my own and the overhauls on that formula) and Polk did not support it for all novels.
Which, valid. It is difficult to put an epic fantasy with many PoVs into it. I can see it work with two PoVs, but more than that? So seeing other angles to lean into. Not sure I’ll remember it if I ever need it. Looking ahead, all my future writing is fortunately one person’s head.
Polk coaxed out information about the novels for the query and showed up ways to incorporate the selling points and what excites the writer about them. I was already trying to discorporate, because I had nothing to coax out.
After their comments, it was our turn. Several of us spoke up simultaneously. I stepped down. By the time the others were don and I tried to speak, time was over and I was cut off by the workshop leader.
Yeah. That went down about as well as you might expect from former blog entries. I went non-verbal, which oop, bad when my turn was still ahead. Also, trying to battle this and not just break apart showed clearly and damn I really should just have unplugged the camera and had a good cry there. I would not make it through this without one anyways.
On the positive side, I don’t think anybody noticed I didn’t even try to speak up again. On the not-so-positive side, I knew I’d just fall apart the moment I opened my mouth.
Long story short. I did.
When asked about the query and the book, I had nothing. Worst, the questions as to why the agency that facilitates interdimensional travel and hands out the missions exists and what their goal is. le what? Ask me why my sci-fi is set in space. Ask me why there’ll be a HEA at the end of my romance.
That’s literally the premise? Sava is an adventure series about visiting strange places, meeting strange people, and solving mysterious cases. If there is nothing to give you cases and send you places, there is no story.
I have considered putting a big overarching plot involving the agency and its work into the series. I have some excellent starting points in the first book, too. Honest? I don’t want to. It’s a good place with good intentions doing good work. It is exactly what it says on the the box.
This is a thing I guess I’ll have to address some other time. Things being what it says on the box. No more, no less, no mystery.
Back to the query workshop. Everybody was very kind about my breakdown and CL Polk apologised when they had no reason to. I was just in no state or shape to workshop, especially not a useless unfinished thing.
But I got through this, if in pieces.
And I was not really looking forward to the next workshop being only half an hour later. Might be enough for a good cry and some full-body stimming. Would definitely not be enough to return me into a state where I could sensibly workshop.
Well, you live and you learn. Next time *lol* it will be camera off and letting it all put. Yes, by now I can cry and keep going at the same time but is in uncomfortable.