Stage III: Stumbling in Progress

Shortly after starting this blog project, I realized the insanity of it.  I’m not an authority on The Six Stage Plot Structure or The Hero’s Journey.  I’m just like so many other writers out there – a student of the industry and the craft.  I approach the draft of every one of these blog posts with apprehension.  What could I possibly have to say regarding this next step in a way that could make any sort of impact on the lives of writers, readers, movie goers, etc.?  However, it seems that every step of this journey touches me in a very profound way.  I can only hope that it resonates with you as well, and possibly adds an additional element of awareness to your daily experiences with the arts and in your lives.

Stage III finds our hero with a clearly established end goal.  He makes plans to take action, but obstacles are thrown in his way which causes him to vacillate between his Identity and Essence.  Is he going to sidestep, counter, and overcome these obstacles, or will he cut his losses and run right back into his safe yet unfulfilling Identity?  As an audience it gives us something to root for.  We want to see our hero pick himself up and dive right back into the fight. 

Life is filled with obstacles and conflicts.  We’d be bored and would feel no sense of accomplishment if everything came to us in an easy, effortless way. 

Recently things have been chugging along well in my writing world.  My current WIP, Forbidden Signs, was selected as a finalist in two writing competitions.  I also received requests from editors for a full manuscript for an older project, Second Hand Romance, that I thought was long dead.  I’ve been feeling pretty optimistic.  It’s important to note that these opportunities didn’t come without stomping the pavement or without risk.  When you put yourself and your work out there, you are sailing right into the throes of possible rejection.  

Photo by Evelyn Simak

These positives could be why a recent not-so-pleasant experience knocked me for a loop.  I had the opportunity to pitch to a literary agent at the recent NJRW conference.  I barely uttered the most basic concept of teenage elemental gods for Forbidden Signs when she shrugged her shoulders and said “not for me.”  She had absolutely no interest, and it hurt.  Could she have approached the conversation better?  Absolutely.  Could she have pretended interest and asked me a question about say, the plot, the goals, the motivation, the conflict?  Sure!  But in the end, she did me a favor.  She re-ignited the fire in my belly, and reminded me that not every opportunity is the right opportunity.  Most importantly, when faced with a bump in the road, I refuse to retreat into my previous identity of low self-worth.   I’m gunning for the end point people!  I hope that you, whatever your goals are in life, do the same!

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About RoseAnn DeFranco

Author - Humorous Contemporary Romance & Young Adult Romance
This entry was posted in Forbidden Signs, Inspiration, The Hero's Journey, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Stage III: Stumbling in Progress

  1. Jenna Blue says:

    Gun away, R.A.! I’m so glad you didn’t let a bump detour your determination! And don’t fret over the blog posts! I, for one, am enjoying reading them. You have a knack for boiling down a complicated topic into terms I “get.” So thanks, and congrats on the successes you’ve had recently–be sure to keep focusing on those!!
    Jenna Blue

  2. Awesome RA! Go after those dreams!! I’m inspired.

  3. Hi R.A. Glad to read you’re in a better state of mind. What happened to you is frustrating. We’ve all either been there or will be there. I like the way your channeling the hurt to re-ignite your passion in your characters and in your story!

    • R.A. DeFranco says:

      The only option is to keep moving forward. I think more than anything I was shocked because it was not consistent with previous experiences. Thanks for the words of encouragement!

  4. You can’t always go by one agent’s opinion. I once (in the 1990s) had an agent tell me the paranormal market was dead. Dead? A few years later the whole vampire thing exploded. She was way off base. Well…maybe paranormal is about the undead, but the market certainly is alive! 🙂

    • R.A. DeFranco says:

      The best advise about the market (IMO) is what we are constantly being told – write what you love. I believe in my work. I also have to believe that while it wasn’t right for her, it will be right for someone else.

  5. That particular agent was a bit abrupt for sure. But, if you view her dismissal as a favor and it restored the fire in your belly, you’ve turned her rudeness around. The good thing, having someone show interest in an older work that hadn’t been caught before, just proves that it is all in the way you present yourself and your story…. That’s really learning your craft…the way you get the interest in editors and agents…a few words here and there, a different perspective of the same story…that’s real learning! Good for you.

    • R.A. DeFranco says:

      Honestly, Irene. I think I was shocked more than anything. As for the older work, I think the lesson learned there is to prepare the best proposal material possible. My requests have stemmed from “cold” sumissions – query, synopsis, first three chapters. Like making pasta, sometimes you have to throw it out there and see if it sticks! 🙂

  6. nettrobbens says:

    Great post R.A. and an ever better outlook! You were graceful in a horrible situation. The agent’s rudeness was unnecessary and a sure sign that you’re better off with someone else. When “your” agent approaches you, you’ll be ready.

    Best,
    Nett

    • R.A. DeFranco says:

      We’re talking about a business relationship, Nett, and we would not have been a good combination. The vibe was not good before I even opened my mouth. I probably would have been better served to pick her brain about the industry for a few minutes instead. When “my” agent 🙂 approaches the atmosphere will feel right.

  7. Lori says:

    I knew my pitch was done from the first second as well. I am super confused and not sure if I should continue. I’m leaving it until 2013. Maybe the cool air can clear the cobwebs. I’m sorry you had a similar experience but happy it didn’t shake you.

    Happy Writing!
    Lori

    • R.A. DeFranco says:

      Lori – You absolutely should continue writing the book of your heart. Please keep in mind that while the pitch might not have gone well, that person did not review your materials, so this is not a reflection of your writing. It wasn’t for them, and that is OK because it wasn’t what they were looking for. Please don’t let this derail you. It happens. Move on.
      RoseAnn

  8. JoAnn Chiavetta says:

    Never give up this pursuit. It’s what keeps those creative juices flowing and makes you happy. Remember, when you took a typing class one summer of middle school because you wanted to be able to write at the typewriter? (Yes, typewrtier. Am I dating you?) That fire was in your belly from a very young age.

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