Got my critique back this afternoon, and I was right: The manuscript definitely needs some help.

I’m not going to lie: It was a bit unnerving to see all that “red ink” on my pages. But it was also edifying, because she said a lot of the same things I’ve been thinking.

Just the other day, I started to wonder if I spent too much of the first page and a half setting the scene … and sure enough, Shea suggested I cut the first page or so and start with more action.

She also pointed out that I need to keep the thread about the book Erin gets for her birthday going — and I’d noticed it’s not as strong a presence as I’d like.

As for Brad, she didn’t exactly call him boring … but she did point out that he’s, well, “bland” … and that’s just a nicer word for dull as dirt.

So it looks like I have my work cut out for me. Good thing I’m up for the challenge. I got an e-mail confirmation today from RWA that they’ve received my entry.

Your manuscript, Operation Snag Brad, has been entered in the Contemporary Series Romance Category of the 2010 Golden Heart Contest sponsored by Romance Writers of America, Inc.  Please send six copies of the partial manuscript, six synopses, and one full manuscript to (address)

Guess I won’t be getting back to Kari and Damien anytime soon. Fixing up Brad and Erin is going to take up all my free time between now and Dec. 2. 😀

But when I’m done, it should be a much stronger — and hopefully sell-able — story.

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