Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Giving in to the inevitable...

It was going to happen. We all knew it; some knew it before others. It was only a matter of time before I started to blog. Like I really need something else to distract me from what I should really be doing, which is writing. A book. Not a blog. But I'll chalk it up as the first step to building 'my platform'. For those of you who don't know the oh-so-complicated world of publishing a novel, your platform is your presence out in the book-buying world. Ideally, you'll have a flashy website that thousands visit every week, thereby giving you your potential buyers of your novel. At the barest minimum, you have a blog. So here we go.

Today has been a day of a little high and a little low. I sold 'Spa Break' to Woman's Weekly, a woman's mag in the UK, the same one that published my other short story 'The Way to a Man's Heart' back in 2006 (not exactly prolific am I?). The money is minimal (but I'm not in it for the big bucks anyway) and it is hardly a prestigious literary publication. But it is read by 350,000 people each week and it is rather competitive from a writer's perspective. So I'm not complaining. Actually, I'm pretty chuffed! One more thing to put on my writer's resume.

As for the little low, I found out today that neither of my novels-in-progress were shortlisted for the Yeovil Literary Prize. Well, shoot.

WOMAN OVERBOARD was a long shot, I know that. It is far from polished (and VERY far from finished) and I really shouldn't have wasted the entry fee submitting it. But I figured I'd put it out there as it was chick lit and the contest was judged by Katie Fforde who writes great chick lit. After all, what if something in it just resonated for her? Sometimes that is all it takes. Clearly not the case here though. S'okay. I'll get over it.

But I am a bit disappointed that NIGHT WORDS (or HERALDSGREEN HOUSE or UPON THE SHADOWED PAGE or whatever it is I'm calling my WIP this week -- another post on that very soon) didn't even make it to the short list. However, after discussing the second draft with four of my readers over the past weeks, I know that the first six chapters are not the strongest of the book. And I also think that my synopsis is not as good as I can make it. And that is what this contest was judging (I sent the first 15,000 words). So if I wasn't motivated to fix the first quarter of the book before this news, I certainly am now. Truly, I am STOKED for fixing the book. I can't wait to get stuck in to the third draft because I know that I can make it better, thanks to the great advice of my fantabulous readers.

Highs and lows. I think this blog will be mostly about the highs and lows of this process. The writing, the feedback, the editing, the submitting, the rejections, the rejections, the rejections, and with any luck, the ultimate high of getting this silly little novel of mine published.

Thanks for joining me on the journey.

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