November 25th, 2008
Last week I received some good news – an agency, having read my full manuscript, is interested in it. It will require more agency-assisted editing, but that too is good news; they like the novel enough to invest time in helping me make it better. And it’s a big name agency too! I’m like a jitterbug anticipating their suggestions. I took the novel as far as I could under my own steam, and while I know it’s good, at times I wondered just what it was that I had created — that can happen when you get so close to a project. Already, I have an insider’s perspective on its market genre. Wonderful.
It’s invigorating to — finally — have enthusiasm for my novel shared by someone in the business. A glimmer of hope in an morass of economic woes.
The hurdles are yet legion: pending the edits, it still has to become a formal offer of representation; the agent needs to entice a commissioning editor in a publishing house; an editor has to sell it to a pitch panel. In this business, I know only too well from my own experience that one can fall at any of the hurdles. But most are largely out of my control. The only thing I can control now is the quality of the novel, to make it the most irresistible prospect I can, and with the help of an agency, I can do even more about that.
But that is all next year’s concern.
Best of all in this is my internal victory, and the satisfaction it spawns. I have been vindicated. I took the decision to re-write a new draft, rather than start a different novel. I felt passionate about the subject matter and that I could tell the tale in a way that would sell. I believed it important also to learn to whip an errant novel into shape – it is a skill I would need as a writer. I have pulled apart and re-assembled an improved novel that made it over the next hurdle. Having done that, I feel confident that I can handle any edits that now come my way.
“Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”