I don’t think I’ve told you all this before now, but the fourth draft of my MS is currently with the Lynk MS Assessment Service for a second round of critique. I’ve got another week and a half to wait for the report, and I don’t mind saying it is proving excruciating. The longest few weeks of my life. What will my assessor (the same one who got it after the third draft) say this time? What won’t be working? What will remain for me to do? I have no idea what she – I know only that it’s a she – will say. I do know that I know, even if no one else does, that I threw myself into the latest rewrite like a woman possessed. Actually, I think I am a woman possessed. I keep wondering what my assessor does for a living, for I don’t imagine MS assessment is her full-time gig. I keep wondering if, in fact, she’s any better qualified than me. That’s one of the oddities of this process: I’m eminently qualified to critique a manuscript – I have a book review out in a national magazine right now – just not necessarily my own. I can’t see all its faults clearly, although if I’m to be entirely honest, and I suspect you trust me to be, then I must say I do see most of them. My woefully immature response to the gaping flaws in my MS was initially simply hoping like hell no one else would notice. Bugger and damnation; they always, always did. So I owned up to them, in the end, or at least I feel like I did. That’s what makes this second assessment so interesting: where have I failed now?
In the interim, I am (rather optimistically) turning my mind to my next project. Since 2006 I’ve started three other manuscripts, and I also have several screenplay ideas – some of them quite well fleshed out, at least in my head. So it seems quite important to me that I consider carefully what my next move will be, since any way I decide, I am staring down the barrel at about the next two years of my life, once research and redrafting and redrafting and redrafting are taken into account.
(do you know I love the fact that I just write this blog and put it straight up? Oh the glorious freedom! Sometimes there are typos I don’t see until it’s posted, which I then correct, but not before some of you keen ‘stream’ type people have already been sent the original version, mistakes and all – that’s how free and easy it is. I love it. It’s such a load off not having to rewrite it over and over again).
I wonder what you think I should do. I’ve been talking to my mate Ruben about free content and the unpublished fiction writer (hello, Rubes), and it makes me think that perhaps he’s right, and I should consider posting the beginnings of some of my fiction on this site. I’m not sure I’d like to open it up to a public savaging (it’s okay, Miriam, it’s safe to look now), but there may be a way for me to share something of what I’m doing with you… if you’re interested, that is. I am still mulling all this over, but it’s part of what I see as I stare down the barrel, wondering how to deal with the fact that it’s fully loaded no matter which way I turn.