Something came up in Emma's life that may prevent her from continuing to work on her novel right now, or even possibly to be part of Pitch Wars. We are not sure, at this time, and whatever her decision is, I will be 100% in support of it. I am not going to say anything about it because it is not my place to do so, but suffice it to say that things happen in all of our lives that are big and unexpected, and that change our perspective on everything, especially writing. For some people, the life events make writing forward impossible. For other people, the life events make writing forward even more critical than it was before. We had an Author Accelerator member this week suffer a very big and frightening event, and she said she HAD to keep writing through it; it was the only thing that made sense to her in a senseless time, and it brought her peace and solace. Other people may make the opposite decision. There is, of course, no right or wrong. I will let you know what Emma decides whenever she decides it.

  • UPDATE: Emma did something super heroic.  In the midst of a family turmoil, she revised her entire novel. She said that it turned out to bring her peace. I am currently reading through the entire thing and helping her make sense of what still needs to be done as we head into the final weeks of the Pitch Wars revision timeline. Here are some of the summary notes I gave her, so you can see the kinds of things we are focusing on:


  • You need to let there be some bigger THREAT from all the souls come to life. They are just sort of there bugging Cici. I think they need to be closing in on Zita or her dad (or both ) — just something more dangerous/sinister in a way that is more front and center. (We never actually even SEE Zita sick, for example… I think Cici needs to see souls all over her… and I think something needs to be going down at Tranquil Death)
  • There needs to be a showdown of some kind between Jimmy and Griff. You build to it and then nothing happens. I wonder if you could use the circle scene in some way. Maybe one of them wants to bolt like Mary did (Jimmy turns out to be too afraid???)
  • There needs to be some sort of confrontation/showdown with Ron — more needs to be made of that for sure. I think you can do that once you anchor  this idea more firmly in the first pages — that his business disrupts the energy. The ley lines can just be used to explain this — ley lines don’t need to be developed any more, in my opinion.
  • There needs to be some sort of wrap up with the minister — and I sort of love that he gets Cici before anyone else. I wonder if he can do something to help her cause, or aid and abet her in some way.
  • That brings up some of the Chekov problems — the splinter, the connection to the dark skinned witch, etc. We want to make sure those things are used then resolved.
  • Unresolved makes me think about the Griff/Cici situation. I don’t think you have to have them get together, but I DO think there should be more of a promise there. Maybe a kiss that rocks them both??? Or Jimmy kissing her and Griff going nuts??
  • I don’t love the very end. Having Jimmy at the family Christmas doesn’t make a ton of sense, really…  and the epilogue needs to deliver Cici whatever it is she actually WANTS vis a vis her understanding of death/Grandme, etc. It’s CLOSE but not there yet. I would also love there to be a tease to another Salem story… a sense that something else might happen. Has Ron closed up shop and she seems some other business looking to rent the space?? Which could lead to another adventure?


We'll share more next week....