Friday, September 16, 2011

Stepping in to the writer self

 I'm leaving today for a cruise up the Inland Passage to Alaska. While I'm definitely on vacation and plan to take advantage of lots the cruise will offer, I am taking my laptop and planning to spend a few hours working on the new novel or writing poetry as I expect splendiferous scenery.

One of the things that getting an agent has done for me is validate my ability to write well and to tell stories, something even 5 years ago, I would have said I wasn't good at. Now I have encouragement to step fully into my writer self, and that means writing. Not talking about it or reading about it, but doing it. So while this won't be a writing retreat per se, I want writing to be so much a part of my life that I can't imagine travelling without a way to write.

And just in time to boost me further, my agent, so cool to be able to say that, sent me yesterday a list of the first 8 editors she plans to submit my book to. The publisher names were very familiar to me (big ones) but the editor names weren't. Then I looked them up on the web and saw that these are very heavy hitters, with substantial clients, including the editor for John Grisham. I'm thrilled that Andrea thinks my book is worth sending to these top-notch people.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Making revisions at the agent's suggestion

Fortunately, my new agent only had a few suggestions for revisions to the manuscript she is going to shop for me. It's been an interesting experience to consider them (they were my call, she said) and then work on the chapters with those specific ideas in mind.

In one chapter, I had written the two segments from two different points of view. It worked okay but she pointed out that both points of view were from minor characters and neither one of them ever got the point of view again in the book. I'd been uncomfortable with this before she said anything but I liked how the POV revealed what I wanted the reader to know about these two characters, one of them a new character who would play a strong supporting role to my detective.

So I went in and read the chapter and reread it and realized that I could take Andrea's suggestion and get my main detective into the scene. I lost a few pieces of information about one of the characters but not enough to be problematic.

I fixed the other two ideas pretty easily (mostly by dropping out sentences that weren't crucial).

Lastly, she wanted a different take on  part of the ending but I didn't want to lose the last reveal so we've agreed to leave that as is and see if editors balk.

I sent off my signed contract, so now the ball will get rolling. So excited!