Posted by: Natalie | April 2, 2010

Digression

It would appear I have digressed. It was sending an email this morning about my work and realised that I haven’t written about it here for a little while. I have unwittingly slipped into a ‘review’ blog! I had a quick scan down the list of posts and discovered I have written more about books I have read, films and theatre than I have about my own books. But, I am not concerned about this – as long as my typing fingers get moving in a morning, that’s all that counts right?!

But, I did think it was about time I gave you a little update. I have had no more rejections of late, mainly because I have not sent out any more submissions. Looking at them now, in cold light of day, I notice that they are just not good enough – in fact, I am a little shocked I allowed them to leave my study like that! I have to make a decision too. Do I try and show an agent I have different strings to my bow by sending three different proposals? Or, do I focus on one and push that, hoping at some point in the future to be able to show my other books too? I like the idea of agents being able to see my variation, but at the same point, is it going to be overwhelming? Are they just going to look at the pile of paper and ignore it instantly because it’s too much for a first time submission? I think this may be the case.

So now comes my next decision to make. Which book do I send? The one I think is most polished and closest to the finished product -my picture book? Or, the Science Fiction book which I think has potential for a series? Or, do I wait another few months and polish up the one I really believe in?! I think I know the answer! I maybe wrong about my intuition, but there is just something different about this new book (well, the one I have worked on for months now) something I feel like electricity in my stomach when I think about it. A very unsettling sensation that makes me smile and washes over me, letting me know every time it does that this is the right decision – to write and be happy!

So, I wait a while, I get my writing up to scratch, maybe try and build a portfolio of short stories (and maybe enter them into competitions etc.), pour blood, sweat and tears into this current project and get at least one of my friends to read it! I think I have a plan, it is a vague plan, but one nonetheless. Obviously at some point I realise the plan will probably change again – I am a fickle female after all!

The re-write though is proving so much harder than the first draft. I have had that ‘essay re-write’ feeling a couple of times – you know, the sense of sickening dread of wading through several pages of poorly written waffle! But, that has to be a god thing. It means I am developing my self criticism and I am beginning to spot quickly the weaker aspects of my story. I feel the more I write, the more I am becoming aware of where plots fall down and where characters are thin – a heightened sense of realisation, if you will. But I still need much help!!

I need even more advice I think – so I am starting with the Stratford Literary Festival. There is a lecture on Wednesday 28th April about how to write and get published. Its only £8 so I figure I will go – I am after all taking time out from full time employment – I should utilise that! It may only tell me what I already know, but I am worried I am missing some magic ingredient, something that everyone else knows. Are they laughing at my cluelessness? I think I have a solid knowledge of what is needed, but it’s that old saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” I love learning!

I plan to get a good chunk of writing done today as I am going away for a few days over Easter, I’m going home to Lancashire! So, anyone who is still feeling sorry for themselves at work and wanting to read my blog over the Easter holiday may find it a little lacking. I make no apologies, I will be indulging in my Mum’s cooking and all the delights of the North West!

Happy Holiday’s all – sorry for the ramblings today!

Nxxx

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