Monday, January 16, 2012

Where I Am Today on my Journey

It is bright and sunny and, I imagine, cold. I have plenty of clients this week and a course to give at the university. In other words - a full slate.

Today I'm meeting my editor to discuss next steps with the book. For all of you who thrill at the words 'my editor' let me explain. My editor isn't a representative of a publishing company that is ferrying me through the system. I'm not there yet. My editor is a woman who I'm paying to work with my book. I've known her for a long time in other capacities but was thrilled to find out this was an area she had expertise in and wanted to expand. A match made in literary heaven. And she is a total treat - she gets me and what I want to do AND very importantly has the best sort of detachment from my goals and ego. She will happily tell me what sucks and what works and I will happily listen. Not only that, but when I talk to her it is like talking to myself out loud. I get ideas, sparks leap between neuron receptors - it is thrilling. She has the knack of asking the right questions.

Today we'll be talking (or mainly me today as she hasn't had a chance to crack the newest revision) about what I want to do next. For the next two weeks, in my writing time, I want to gather together my package - my query letter, a number of synopses, and make sure my first fifty pages are CLEAN. I want to work that synopsis with my editor because she is extremely good at ferreting out what I want to say and how I might best do that. As well, I will be planning my campaign.

Who do I want to send this to first? I do have an agent in mind - an agent who liked my first book, Feckless, enough to ask for several lengthy chunks of it, but didn't think my writing was quite there yet. I'm hoping she likes this story and likes what I've done to improve my writing. And what would that be, some of you newbies might be asking? Let us others answer in resounding unison 'We've improved our writing by writing!' I have other agents in mind as well, ones I've been salting away in my 'possible agents' file, because I like who they publish or I've heard good stuff about them or perhaps just because of an intuitive hit.

For the next two weeks I'll be doing these tasks. Then on February 1st, I'll begin sending out the packages. At that time I'll also begin revising The Rock Walker. Think I have maybe a month of work on that and then another doing the same thing I'm doing for True. If I'm extremely busy then it'll take me longer. When I'm ready to send that out, I'm going back to Feckless and revising that. That's a HUGE job but it has been haunting me. I like the story, the characters and the feel of it. I need to tighten up the writing and the structure (the structure is always my bugaboo). Then when that is done, I'll finish the second Kitty MacDonald mystery (Earth Bound) and start the process of revising that. The thing is - the more I write, the less crazy revision time I have. Because I write them better to begin with. I'm not there yet, though.

Sending True out is terrifying to me, in case you haven't gotten that. I sent Feckless and The Rock Walker out before they were done and then had to beat a hasty retreat, so I've been ever so slow and careful with True. But I didn't write it to sit in a drawer, so here goes!
And how are your goals shaping up mid-January?

11 comments:

~Mandy said...

It would be wonderful to find somebody who would brutally honest with me about my writing!

Good luck with everything, and I hope your first 50 pages are soon spotless :)

Elspeth Antonelli said...

I hope you have a wonderfully productive meeting, Jan on this next step of the journey.

Clarissa Draper said...

Those are great goals and I'm glad your revisions are going good. I know that I've set high goals for myself but so far, I'm completing them.

Bish Denham said...

Breathe in, breathe out. Let go. May your baby fly and find a home.

Miriam Forster said...

I know what you mean about structure. I still have to sit down at least once per draft with Alexandra Sokoloff's structural narrative cheat sheet and make sure all the pieces are in the right place.

http://thedarksalon.blogspot.com/2011/10/nanowrimo-narrative-structure-cheat.html

Good luck and good editing!

Liza said...

You may have much to do, but you've accomplished so much. I'm looking forward to your victory, when a publisher says "yes."

Carol Kilgore said...

It's such a long journey from ever deciding to write the first word to finally sending out a completed manuscript. Good for you. You've accomplished a lot. Keep us posted on the progress.

KarenG said...

It sounds like you're making some real progress with your writing. I'm slow starting this year. I need to get back to my revising routine but so far have been avoiding it. I like reading posts like this because they inspire me.

Ann Best said...

It takes a lot of time and effort to get writing packages on their way. I applaud your determination, and wish you SUCCESS.
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

Jan Morrison said...

Mandy - not so sure about 'brutal' but honest is good - keep looking, you'll find someone.
Elspeth - thanks my deario - it was a good meeting and I'm looking forward to the next little while (except it is damn cold!)
Clarissa - good for you! We'll get there, one word at a time...
Bish - exactement! I will do this.
Miriam - just went and got that for myself - how great! I've used a longer one with the same Hero's Journey approach but this is tighter and very helpful.
Liza - that makes two of us!
Karen - Yay! Be inspired and remember you are birthin' a baby right now - Celery Tree!!!!

Jan Morrison said...

oh, Ann snuck in there! Hi Ann - thanks a bunch. I was visiting you yesterday - just a lurking about...