Monday, 23 July 2012

Who are you? And what have you done with my WIP?

I'm coming to the end of yet another round of revisions on my WIP, and it's interesting to look back and see how my attitude has changed towards this process.

Initially, it was a chore. 

With previous WIP's, the thrill of getting the idea out of my head into something tangible is always an enjoyable part.  The way that the details present themselves as you expand on an idea and the story starts to run away from you as it gains momentum, gives me a really good buzz.  But the revisions...?  These always seemed to be a long slog. 

This book, however, has changed everything.  It's probably because I've learnt so much while writing and editing it, but the revisions have been fun, and every change has made me feel like I'm getting closer to making this piece a viable candidate for publication.  It's also because I have some great Crit partners who have made the process so enjoyable.  Being able to discuss some of the changes to find the best way of wording something or the most impact has helped considerably.

This morning, it struck me that I'm going to reach a point where I feel the book is where I want it to be.  Obviously, that's when I'll be trying to get someone else to think the same.  So, for arguments sake, if I do manage to get a book deal and the editor starts to suggest changes, will they be taking my book to somewhere new that isn't where I left it?

The big question is..... do authors who get their work published still feel as connected with their work, or do they feel it's been hi-jacked to make it as commercially successful as possible?

Monday, 16 July 2012

New and frightening places

I find myself in a very strange place.  Not physically, but emotionally.  It's not somewhere I ever expected to visit, and not a place that I've even skirted around the edges of.

Where am I?  I'm extremely close to sending off  a batch of submissions to some agencies, and I'm having doubts about whether my MS is good enough.

I'm aware that a lot of people have been here before me, but it's a bit of a shock finding myself here.  About 18 months ago, before I learnt all of the stuff that would help make my book into a potentially publishable piece of work, I just thought that it was a numbers game.  That it would resonate with someone, and we'd move forwards from there.  At the time, I'd avoided the 'how to' books, as I was under the misapprehension that they were a 'painting by numbers' approach.  When I think back to then, I'm surprised at just how naive I was, and how embarrassing it is to think that I didn't need any help. 

Sorry, I seem to have wandered off track a bit.  Where was I?  Oh yes. Submissions. 

Like I said, over confidence in believing that I could write ran rife through my head back then, but now... now I can't help thinking that maybe I could give it one more going through.  Buff and polish it one more time, just in case.  And then I find myself wondering; When will I know that it's finished and ready to send?

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Carry on regardless?

I was in the final stages of my revisions of my WIP, when I came across a book that used the same major plot point for it's central theme as I had.

I couldn't believe it!  All those months of work, and someone had beat me to it. 

So, what should I do?  Carry on and hope that no one notices?  Start the sequel, but write it as the first book?  Give the whole thing up as a bad job and write something new?

In the end, I decide to carry on with the WIP.  I was aiming at the YA market, and the existing book was for adults.  Having made the decision, I finished the revisions, but the knowledge that this book was out there kept niggling away at me.

Yesterday, I read an article in Writing Magazine that put the nagging doubts in their place.  Apparently, what happened to me is not uncommon. For example, how many stories are there about the Titanic?  We all know how the story is going to end, but it still doesn't stop new books being published about it.  That's because it's about the characters, and the different angles that the event is approached, that makes the books so different, and therefore unique.  Providing your work isn't a facsimile of the published work, then it will be of interest to third parties. 

Having read the published book, I can categorically state that other than the main event, it's nothing like my book.  (Cue big sighs of relief!)  Realising this has lifted a weight of my mind, and restored my misguided belief that I can get my work published.

Have any of you guys found yourself in this situation?

(Thank you Carrie for the awards.  I'll tackle them during the week)