Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Three day catch up

[There is some writing news in all this rambling]

Well things have been a little odd over the last three days and it all stems from one email I received. A New York based publisher sent an email requesting the full manuscript for my YA Fantasy novel the Patternmaker's Daughter. Or to put it another way - yehay!

Now for the downside. It's not totally terrible; just that I need to make a confession and it's a little embarrassing. You see I finished the YA fantasy and tried my hardest not to do anything with it - like revise or anything. This is where the problem started. I have read a number of places that say you should give it a good gap between finishing the first draft and the revising. I think one of them may have been in Stephen King's book On Writing. Anyway I was determined not to just jump straight back in and start fiddling with it.

Si I started writing the bawdy sci-fi novel No Man's Land instead and promised myself I wouldn't get back to revising until that one was done. Did I keep that promise? Well, no. Not really. I couldn't resist. Every other evening or so before going to sleep I would read through a chapter of the print out and make a whole bunch of corrections/additions/removals etc. I kind of reasoned that because I was only doing them on paper I wasn't breaking my promise to myself.

And the other part about not sending any submissions out, well I failed on that one too. You see I did actually make some changes to the manuscript from my read through. I polished up the first three chapters and then sent out some submissions. All very naughty. I just couldn't help myself.

I'd so enjoyed writing the story of Elspeth and Antonio and desperately want to write the second book in the series so I thought I would get ahead of myself a little; head start and all that. After all most agencies so far have taken months to process my initial submissions and when they do reply so far it's almost exclusively been rejections. And yes I know I did have a full manuscript request for the political sf novel Against the Fall of Empire three and half months back but that I've felt was a blip and unlikely to be repeated.

Imagine my surprise when Monday evening saw an email requesting the full manuscript for the Patternmaker's Daughter just two weeks after I'd sent in the submission. End result is I pretty much ignored everything except twitter for a couple of days and plugged in all the revisions to the manuscript itself and readied it for submission..

Yeah, I was tempting fate I know, only having the corrections on paper and I paid the price with a couple of frenetic evenings of fixing but it is finished. I am happy with it and it has been emailed to the publisher - a New York based publisher. Did I mention they were in New York? Yeah, I kind of know I did - I just scrolled up to check. It's right there in the first paragraph proper, after my warning about rambling.

I got kind of excited about that for a while and the shine's not totally worn off yet. I'm hoping to bask in it a little while longer. Because even if they don't take it any further I have had my confidence boosted somewhat. Now two of my books have passed the first test. Two separate groups of people have read my opening chapters and synopsis and wanted to read more. That kind of tells me I might be getting something right - or at least not too horrendously wrong.

Now I am fully expected that neither of these full read throughs will turn into anything more positive or contractual so I am not building my hopes up too much. The one thing I am going to take away from this though is the thought that my writing cannot be too awful. I might just make this one day.

...

And then I read the other emails. Three of them were rejections from agencies; one for the political sf novel I mentioned above and the other two for, you guessed it, the YA fantasy novel that just moved on a step.

Well they helped keep my feet firmly on the ground I suppose.

...

Aside from that we've started to watch this Norwegian surreal comedy show called Dag. It's bizarre and we both love it. Dag is a marriage guidance counsellor who believes people are better of living alone and is a total sociopath. It's just strange in the extreme. Need to see more of it

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