Back to the Drawing Board

October 17, 2007 at 2:23 am (Uncategorized)

At the end of last week, I finally sent my MS off to a Manuscript Appraisal Service. Getting someone (hopefully someone qualified, but who really knows?) to read it and actually tell me what they think is costing me a little over $400. I think this is a lot of money – it is a lot of money – but I’m hoping it’ll prove to be money well spent. I’m hoping that whoever I’m paying has more experience than I do in editorial and publishing matters concerning fiction. What I do like is knowing someone will have to say something eventually, even if it’s all negative. Now that I’m forking out the dollars, someone is going to tell me what’s wrong with it. I can’t tell you what an untold relief it is knowing that a report will hit my post box some sunny day instead of just a form note saying ‘No thanks.’

And then there’s the MS Development Award through the Varuna Writers’ Centre. I’ve applied for one of those, too. There are only 5 places, so I’m not holding my breath, but for the lucky chosen few, it’s a 10 day intensive workshop opportunity to improve the MS with actual, real live editors on hand to help. It sounds brilliant, and I’d really like to win one of those spots. They’ll be announcing a long-list at the end of November, so I won’t have any further news for you until then (I think the MS appraisal is going to take about 6-8 weeks too). I’m not a naturally patient person, but I’m rapidly learning that these things really do take time.

Meanwhile, it’s back to working on MS #2. I have redrafted #1 a couple of times since it bombed out of the Vogel, but I must say that’s a process I could continue pursuing forever. At a certain point, I do need to simply call a halt and send it out into the world for some feedback. It’s not that I think it’s finished – I could tweak it until I’m a hundred. It’ll never be ‘finished’ in the way one finishes a meal or a race or a glass of wine or a cigarette. So for the time being I’ve stopped redrafting. Then I’ll get the appraisal, and then I either will or won’t get a place on the MS Development Course, and then I’ll redraft it on the basis of those outcomes. Then I’ll consider what to do next. Again. All of this could take another year. Maybe two. In the meantime, I need to be working on something new, because otherwise quite frankly I’ll go mad.

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