Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Letting Go of Dinosaurs
by Louise D. Gornall

A special guest is on the blog today! Super talented YA Urban Fantasy author, Louise D. Gornall is here to share with us her writer's road journey, particularly the task of letting go of an old MS to create something wonderful and new. I love this story and cannot wait for her debut novel, IN STONE, available July 29th! Be sure to pick up a copy, but first her tale...

Letting Go of Dinosaurs
by Louise D. Gornall

So I wanted to chat to you guys about rejection and the time I spent twelve months of my life writing and revising a story that had been outdated since the dinosaurs. When I first started this writing gig I was very stubborn. Luckily that stubbornness receded just enough for me to listen, let go of my outdated idea and give my MS a chance at publication.  

I thought rejection would be one of those things that I could handle. I mean, I knew that being rejected was a rite of passage in this profession so I went into querying rolling my shoulders and adjusting my gum shield. At first I was totally fine with the onslaught of ‘Dear Author...I’m afraid this project isn’t a great fit...’ but as my rejection total hit the 30s, the wave started to get gnarly and before I knew it I was drowning.  

The toughest part of rejection for me was not knowing where I was going wrong. Was it my query? My story? Or maybe Gmail messed up my submission and now ‘Agent X’ thinks I can’t format a manuscript to save my skin?

I started reading all the advice I could. There was this one piece that I used to dread coming across. It said if your story isn’t working, write something else. If you’re anything like me, letting go and writing something else is practically impossible. This was the first story I’d ever finished and now it was like a toddler, sat on my desktop, screaming for attention. I couldn’t get my mind to focus on anything else. I kept trying, but failed miserably.  

I thought my world was going to cave when I received a rejection on the last full I had out. This rejection was personalized and it was the first one I’d had that offered some advice, but it was that dreaded piece of advice. The one that suggested I write something new.

Obviously I got all up in my CP’s inbox then, crying and telling her how useless I was at writing. After a brief pep talk she suggested that if I can’t write something new maybe I should embark on an epic rewrite. I liked this idea, mostly because I’d still have a word count and my pages wouldn’t be blank. 

At first it was tricky to cut and rebuild. Looking back I was very conscious that this was the best I could write. I’d select a chunk, ready to cut, and then I’d get stuck reading it and start thinking if I get rid of this, I might not be able to replace it with something better. But the more I changed about the story and characters, the more impossible it became to cling to the original text.  

A couple of months later and I had a brand new story. Well, all except for four paragraphs, which have stayed the same from draft one. 

It wasn’t the most conventional way to write a book. I would have loved to have been able just to sit down, open a blank Doc and spew new ideas all over it, but I guess that’s not how my debut wanted to go down.  

About In Stone

Beau Bailey is suffering from a post-break-up meltdown when she
happens across a knife in her local park and takes it home. Less than a week later, the new boy in school has her trapped in an alley; he’s sprouted horns and is going to kill Beau unless she hands over the knife.

Until Eighteenth-century gargoyle, Jack, shows up to save her.

Jack has woken from a century-long slumber to tell Beau that she’s unwittingly been drafted into a power struggle between two immortal races: Demons and Gargoyles. The knife is the only one in existence capable of killing immortals and they’ll tear the world apart to get it back. To draw the warring immortals away from her home, Beau goes with Jack in search of the mind-bending realm known as the Underworld, a place where they’ll hopefully be able to destroy the knife and prevent all hell from breaking loose. That is, provided they can outrun the demons chasing them.

About the Author
Louise is a graduate of Garstang Community Academy. She is currently studying for a BA (Hons) in English language and literature with special emphasis on creative writing. YA aficionado. Brit bird. Film nerd.
Identical twin. Junk food enthusiast. Rumored pink Power Ranger. Zombie apocalypse 2012 survivor. She is also an avid collector of book boyfriends.

Find her here:

Big THANK YOU to Louise for coming on the blog today and sharing her journey with us. Have you ever had to let go of something old to make way for the new? Tell us about it. 


  1. Sometimes starting from scratch isn't always best. There is often something good in what we wrote and shelved.

    And you totally had me at demons and gargoyles. I'm on my way to check this out now!

  2. Hi Heather!

    Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. I totally agree. Starting from scratch is so hard. There's something really unsettling about seeing a word count fixed on zero.

    That's awesome! Thank you heaps :)