Friday, September 7, 2012

When I Hate a Book- Ramblings from Jolene

Hey! I'm super stoked to have Jolene Perry over here to guest post! Her book, INSIGHT is now available!. YIPEE! (links below)

And she has some wonderful words of wisdom to share :)

Everyone give her a big chest bump in welcome!

This is my story about how you should never give up on a story. Not completely.
Have you ever hated a book you were writing??
Because I’ve hated Insight, many, many, many times…

The premise for Insight actually came from a brainstorming session with Nyrae Dawn. She was talking about a certain kind of character that she wanted to work into her story, and I was trying to come up with an idea about why this girl hates to be touched.
And then it hit. Oh!
What if she got visions when she touched people? And not just visions, but felt things, too? And it was like she was that person for this very intense moment of their life? A moment she didn’t want to see?
That would definitely make me NOT want to touch someone. Nyrae was writing a contemp, so this didn't really fit in... ;)

So. I wrote Insight as a standalone, but one that COULD continue on. Or be a part of a series that wasn’t really a series, just a few quasi-related books, or companion novels. I LOVED it.
I queried the HECK out of this book.
(It wasn’t ready. I didn’t know)
My query was pretty good, and I got LOADS of requests.
If you’ve queried and reached that point where you’ve gotten a lot of requests, you kind of start to freak out and think – it’s just a matter of time.
(which it WAS, but this is not the book that got me picked up).

I got a ton of – I like the premise, but I just feel like the book lost steam…
Or. I liked it, but I didn’t love it.
Or. You’re almost there, it just needs to be more.

What does that even mean??? Lol.

I HATED the book. I didn’t know how to fix it! My crit partners read and liked. I read and liked. AAAHHH!!!!!!

No one needs a play-by-play here, but I will say that this book has had four distinct plot/story changes.
I finally totally committed to it being the first of three in a SERIES, and once I found this thread that tied them together with this 300 year old tragedy, and these creepy people that hide in the shadows, and are shadows themselves, and found the END of the trilogy. That’s when I knew I could make Insight work.

I threaded the new idea through, wrote a DETAILED outline so I could move things around, cut and change accordingly, and then shoved the MS into the far reaches of my computer for a few months. It wasn’t until VERY recently that I fell in love with this book again.

SO. The moral of the story is:
In other words, my ramblings to this point lead up to this:
There can be something salvaged from every single thing you write. You will never put words on a page for no reason.
If those words don’t become part of that book, maybe they’ll be part of the next.
If the words suck, maybe you’ll learn something.
If they’re brilliant, maybe you’ll learn something else.

No matter what.
Keep writing.
Keep knowing that your writing is making you a better writer and a better story-teller, no matter where your story ends up.

And with any luck, you’ll shove your hated work of art away for long enough that you learn to love it again :-D

YA Author of Night Sky, Knee Deep, My Heart for Yours, Spill Over, 10 Weeks, Insight
A big thank you to Jo today! And congrats on her release!
Spell dedicated to her :)



  1. I'd definitely recommend this book. I loved all the characters--especially the main character, Micah. Who is quite likable, despite her unwillingness to be touched which forces her to push people away.

    Jolene did a great job on this first one and I am looking forward to reading the next in the series.

  2. Yay! I love Jolene.

    Is this going to be on Nook? Cuz I want it :)

  3. umm.. thank you! i really needed to hear this today!

  4. ooh this is so great! My first MS i queried had a lot of the same responses. Right now, it's sitting aside so i can get some distance from it. Because i don't think i'm ready to fix it yet

  5. Love Jolene's books. Got my copy.

    And Cassie, I love what you've done with the place!

  6. First off Cassie I LOOOOVE your new blog layout. The header is too cute.

    I loved Jolene's guest post, but especially these few lines:
    There can be something salvaged from every single thing you write. You will never put words on a page for no reason.
    If those words don’t become part of that book, maybe they’ll be part of the next.
    If the words suck, maybe you’ll learn something.
    If they’re brilliant, maybe you’ll learn something else.

    I'm revising right now and it's so hard. This was such a nice reminder to keep going even when it gets tough or hard. :)

  7. Wow that sounds like a lot of work! Obviously paid off though.
    Like the new header, Cassie.

  8. Rachel: I so know how it feels to just want to throw in the towel on a wip during revisions! In fact, I sent out an email to all my cps titled "Death to Zak and Zoe" (who are my mcs in the book, lol) But it ended up being totally awesome for me in the end. So yes, I agree with Jolene 100%!

  9. CASSIE!!!

    It's so adorable here I let out a little squee while sitting in bed next to my husband who is trying to sleep in (ha ha).

    You ROCK for having me on today :-D

    It WAS on Nook, but I took it down b/c of amazon's need to rule the world, lol. You have to be exclusive on amazon for a few little perks they offer.
    It'll be BACK up on Nook in a bit :-D

  10. ALSO!!

    I love my spell.
    Husband said it sounds sexy,lol.

    I think he just woke up and has something else on his mind...
    Notice I'm still typing, lol.
    Okay, okay. TMI...

  11. Lol, that is the HAPPY DANCE spell :D

  12. It's always so rewarding when hard work pays off. Cassie, you're new header is beeyootiful!

  13. Never give up is the mantra for me of us. So glad you fell in love with it again. Hard work pays off.

  14. Holy crap. Was I totally blind this morning when I clicked on your blog? I do not remember the cool new header I see now. (And by the way, I wasn't up at 4:54 am, that's your time. That would be about 6:54 my time.)

    Was it up then? Or did you just change it today?

    Cassie Mae, YA Romance Author... I like that.

  15. thanks for the advice jolene & good luck with your awesome book!

    cassie, looks great! glad you like it!!!

  16. Great post and advice! It's totally true that nothing we write is wasted. All of it serves a purpose.

  17. Love the new background, it's so YOU!

  18. Adding to my TBR. And such a great post. I'm for all the encouragement I can find. While I love the book I'm currently working, I have a bit of a hate issue with my 1st one, so Jo's advise was great for me.

    And Cassie Mae-nice "bloglift." I thought I was in the wrong place for a second:)

  19. Jolene is everywhere today. I just came from her blog, so she already has my congrats. This was a great post!!
    The new background looks FAB.

  20. I had mine rejected for being "too quiet"...I thought about retyping the whole thing in large caps...because I too didn't quite know what that meant!

  21. Okay, I love the new blog layout, but I do find it a little tricky to read the font - it weirds out my eyes.

    Jolene, thank you. I have been feeling this this week with my WIP and needed to remember that it is okay and to just keep pushing. Great post!

  22. Love the new blog layout!!!! And I love, love Insight. It's such and awesome story, I'm glad Jo didn't give up on it

  23. Tasha: I've changed the font :) Hopefully it's less tricky :)

  24. WOW! First, I've never heard another writer admit to hating a book they wrote so thank you because I have a book that I've written that I hate. Hate it. I mean I think it's good but I hate it. Weird, huh? Also, yeah, I got the buttload of requests followed with the "I-loved-this-but"s and thought it was only a matter of time. SIX YEARS LATER . . . so wow, I totally related to this post! Thank you!

  25. Very wise! I'm a big fan of the idea that writing (or at least that spark of inspiration) can be salvaged and repackaged into something amazing!

  26. Hey, this is lots easier to read and still cute - bonus!

  27. Very inspiring! I used to write book ideas down in a trapper keeper, but those never got I don't know where the trapper keeper is, but a lot of the ideas are still in my head...I might work on some. :)


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