Stage II of the Six Stage Plot Structure finds our hero adjusting to their New Situation following the events of Turning Point #1. Sometimes they might journey to a new location or they will suddenly see their local terrain through an altered lens. Regardless, at this point our hero will take baby step towards moving into their Essence. The Nemesis or Reflection character might hit the stage at this time as well. For example, in The Hunger Games Katniss travels to the Capital and gets to know Peeta better. Here we see a hint of her Essence. In most novels or movies as the hero acclimates to this new situation, they are unaware that Turning Point #2, and a huge change of plans, is just around the corner.
During Michael Hauge’s Six Stage Plot Structure workshop I only wrote down Stage II – New Situation and then realized that he quickly moved on to Turning Point #2. I don’t want to down grade the importance of Stage II though. I’ve sort of been hanging out in Stage II in my writing world over the past month. My shouts of joy over being selected as a finalist in the Maggie’s were heard far and wide. Maybe it was over the top, but I honestly couldn’t contain my excitement. While I’ve had requests and mild industry interest for my previous projects, this contest final felt like the first real validation that I was moving forward towards an actual career in the publishing industry. Shortly after came the notification that Forbidden Signs had been selected as a finalist in the Lone Star Contest. The overwhelming positive feedback and scores from that competition floored me. A week following I heard from an editor regarding one of my previous contemporary romances. They were very interested and said that I’d hear from them soon. I had to lie down on the sofa. This was too much to absorb at once.
Following my entrance into this new situation, I had to give careful thought as to how I wanted to proceed. Initially, I stayed focused on completing the revision for Forbidden Signs. Then I went to town on the dreaded synopsis. Feedback on that indicated that I had work to do there. While preparing query letters for prospective literary agents, I realized that I needed to decide what I wanted out of my writing career and prepare the foundation accordingly. As a full time working mom, there are only so many hours in the day that I can devote to writing and marketing manuscripts. For now I plan to focus on building my brand as a YA Author. You may have noticed that the link to this blog has shortened. It is now www.radefranco.com. What does this mean? It means that I have FINALLY settled on a Pen Name. I’ve wanted to buy my own domain for a long time, but I wasn’t fully committed to any one name even though I’ve been blogging as R.A. DeFranco for a while. The fact that R.A. was available when I created a twitter account (you can follow me @radefranco) sort of sealed the deal. While I’m not overly active on twitter yet, in a short period of time I’ve gained enormous YA industry knowledge. The next step is to join the Young Adult RWA online Chapter. The idea is to study that part of the publishing industry – Agents, Editors, published authors and readers – so that I can find my place in it.
In a nutshell, while maybe not a lot has happened, and it felt like I’d been swallowed into a black hole, I’ve been pretty busy in my new situation. In essence I’ve been laying the groundwork for what hopefully lies ahead. 🙂