Sunday, December 20, 2009

What to do When Your WIP Has No Zip?

If you have decent writing skills and spend enough time in writing conferences, attending SCBWI meetings and going to retreats or classes, AND you write with some frequency, I honestly think you will develop some competence in terms of technical excution. You'll know to show, not tell, and you have beginnings, middles and ends, and characters that act on their own and solve their own problems.

What you may not have is a spark, a flame, a roaring fire of "wow!" that makes your work-in-progress irresistable and special. And you need that. To get an editor's interest, to capture the attention of an agent plowing through hundreds of submissions, you gotta have SOMEthing that gives your work that extra edge. That thing that editors and agents describe as "I'll know it when I see it."

Some of this will come from a great plot or a high concept and some of this will come from your voice-both the narrative voice and the voice of your characters.

I have a picture book that has some good points, and has all the questions answered (What are the stakes for the main character? Is there conflict? etc.), but it just feels...blah. Have I done so much techincal editing that I've lost that voice?

Have you had this issue?

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