My very own website. How exciting. How scary!
Well, I guess I should start by telling you a little bit about myself and what I plan to do with this little slice of cyberspace. I’ve established this site to track my writing journey and quest for publication. At the moment, I’m a couple of months away from finishing the first draft of a complete re-write of my first novel. Confused? I don’t blame you!
So, a bit of history. The first kernel of an idea for my novel came to me in 2001. Yes, 10 years ago. Slightly depressing, so I try not to think about it! Anyway, by 2007 I had a draft young adult novel called Entwined which I was very proud of. But then I got it professionally appraised…
The appraisal was worthwhile, insightful and a little confronting. It opened my eyes to the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript, some of which were very surprising, and posed some valid questions that required thoughtful answers. It was certainly a good lesson in one of the harsh realities of professional creative writing – i.e. if you can’t handle constructive criticism, you shouldn’t be in the game!
As a result of the appraisal, I decided to completely re-write the manuscript and change it from third person to first person, told in the voices of my two main characters, 17-year-olds Ceara and Seb. I re-named the novel Tangled (which Disney has since stolen for a new movie. At least it’s good, or so I’m told) and spent quite a bit of time creating the narrative voices that would bring Ceara and Seb to life. I’ll make more detail about the novel itself available very soon, so if you’re interested (which I hope you are!), watch this space!
So, where to from here? First, to finish the manuscript. Then, to edit it and hopefully bring the word count down to something slightly more respectable. I see the word count as my biggest barrier to traditional publishing because, quite simply, it’s enormous. At the moment, it’s looking like the final word count will be somewhere around 170,000. To put that in perspective, it’s more than Twilight: Eclipse but less than Twilight: Breaking Dawn (if the word counts on this site are accurate). Considering most books in my genre (young adult contemporary fiction) are between 60,000 to 80,000, no matter how much I trim and refine, Tangled will still be a lot bigger than most! So I’m looking into self publishing and whether that might be a better option for me than traditional publishing. I’ll let you know what my research uncovers! In the meantime, I’ll keep plugging away with finishing the draft and hopefully write the words ‘The End’ very soon!
If you have any experiences with publishing – either traditional or self-publishing, successful or unsuccessful – I’d love to hear from you. Or even if you don’t, and just want to share some thoughts, I’d love to hear from you too!