Happy Monday everyone! First up, I’d love to thank the awesome Cristina for having me as a guest blogger over on her blog: Once Upon a Time. Pop over and take a look 😀
So, as most of you probably know, I went to a small conference in Tulsa, OK over the weekend with two of members of my crit group. The conference was pretty awesome. It was small enough that I didn’t feel too intimidated, and large enough that it felt worth the trip.
They had a publishing panel for questions about publishing and a great historical fiction panel led by Ron Hansen. He was a really good class teacher. I think the agent panel we went to was more for people who’ve never really looked into querying or agents before. It was a little underwhelming, just because we already knew more than we got told, but it was still a great writery atmosphere to be in.
When I registered for the conference we had the option to submit 4-5 pages to an editor for a 15 minute one-on-one. I finished the 3rd book in time to revise/edit/polish the crap out of my first five pages, which are now no longer a prologue, but a scene in the first chapter. After I sent them off I panicked. Don’t we all? Those typical questions wouldn’t leave me alone – Why did you submit that? They’re going to tell you to start from the beginning.
Yes, my brain is always that negative.
What I was hoping for was that the editor would tell me: Hey, you have an interesting premise and show some promise, but you need to concentrate on A, B & C (probably D, E & F too) and fix this up. Keep at it.
What I got was this:
She asked me what the 5 pages were a part of. When I told her it was a trilogy, she asked me if they were all written and where was I in the editing/revision process. Then she asked if I’d approached any publishers or agents yet. To which I, of course, answered no – I wanted to start that after I got revision done.
She then proceeded to show me the 2 things she’s stumbled on. And the thing was, this was a line I’d laboured over and never been quite happy with. They were the only 2 things she wanted reworked. Then she flipped to the last page and pointed at the end and told me: I want to read more. You need to query this as soon as you can, and let me know when it’s published.
I think I sat next to her for about ten seconds without knowing what to say. And for anyone that even remotely knows me – that’s a long time for me not to talk. I was so happy relieved I almost cried.
Now – I realize those first five pages are polished to hell and back. I think I did twelve go overs on it. The rest of the manuscript is no where near that level of polish. I’m not anywhere near where I need to be to query this manuscript. But the point is – I can be. I can get it there.
So many people have read those first five pages. My 2 fabulous alpha reading friends, my entire face to face crit group, my husband… They all told me the version I submitted was good (and you should have seen the original draft *shudders*). But when a person who has no vested interest in you whatsoever tells you your work is good and to query? That means so much more.
Right now, I feel very validated as a writer. It’s easier for me to grasp that with a lot of hard work, maybe I really can do this. So whenever I feel that doubt, I’m going to come look at this post and remember. Talk about motivation 😀
And so ended my Fantastic Weekend. No, we don’t need to mention the migraine from hell that tried to explode my brain through my skull on Sunday. We’re ending the weekend on my fabulous Saturday Editor One-On-One!
How was your weekend? And how do you feel about your writing when friends and crit partners tell you it’s good? How do you feel about your writing in general?