Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Quick! Panic! Write!

I just read today’s blog post by Help! I Need a Publisher! and it has been enough to scare me rigid. Apparently, while books on vampires are the current trend, books on angels will be the next big thing. This means anyone writing books with vampires in it now, as a debut, might just miss their boat, whereas anyone writing books with angels, as a debut, might find their way if they get them out there pronto.

Hence me sitting here with a bellyful of fright and fear in my eyes!

My book is about an angel that makes a mistake. That is all I am saying at the moment, as I am too scared to say anymore in case my idea drips like a leaky kettle into a talented and fast writer’s lap. I know… paranoia! But when you’ve worked and lived with an idea for four years, it does get to that stage, especially when it is not quite finished.

And there - I have said what is scaring me so badly.

The story is done, the redrafting isn’t. I am giving this story a thorough redraft – it goes out as perfect as I can get it, or it goes out not at all. So far it has taken me a year – a whole year – to redraft ten chapters. I have twelve left to go. I know it has been tough for me this year – financially and emotionally - but still… I’m definitely not being Madam Speedy with this. Yet I can’t miss the boat again! I did it with an earlier book idea (an agent told me if I had submitted my idea sooner then he would have definitely been interested – I didn’t know whether to be gutted, exhilarated, encouraged or flattened!).

I have just worked out that if I redraft a chapter every two weeks, mindful of busy full-time work and commuting, then I will be finished by June 2010. June! I absolutely cannot leave it until June! The boat will have gone, all onboard having a party, and I’ll be left waving my manuscript on the cold dock. Oh please God, not June. It’s March, or I give up.

There’s nothing else for it. I am going to have to get amazingly organised with my life and no longer give in to feeling crap and tired of an evening. I have no idea how I am going to do this – I often feel crap and tired! I sadly suspect I am actually a crap and tired sort of person. But maybe this is what separates the real writers from the wannabe’s – those that get amazingly organised and treat it seriously, and those that don’t. Most people do not have the luxury of sitting at home solely writing – they have to start somewhere, and are usually working elsewhere while they do. And some have children to factor in as well. Children! I bow down to these people and bring them virtual gifts of chocolate. How do they cope?

But despite the panic… there is a part of me that is hugely excited and spurred on with this news. For once I just might be bang on-trend. I know it is all based on one lady’s opinion but she has had tons of books published and gives excellent editorial advice. I think I can trust her words. I need to step up a gear, put ‘I’m A Believer’ on the ipod, and shift my butt!


Nicola Morgan said...

Oh bloody hell, now you've made me feel responsible! But no, remember, you are not meant to be thinking of trends: just writing a great book that people will want to read. But, revising a chapter every two weeks - oh no, no, no, you've got to do it quicker than that! Go!

Jayne said...

Aw - thank you so much for popping over! All is again well - I am back to concentrating on the main thing - writing a hopefully great book that folk will read. My flirts with fashion are nearly always brief. ;)

But seriously, I feel really inspired to finish my redrafting thanks to your blog post. And I am going! In fact, I've gone.... *grins*

musicobsessive said...

I think if you are really worried about missing the boat, you ought to start approaching publishers now (or in the new year). They rarely ask for more than the first 3 chapters to be getting on with and whilst you are hawking it around you can be working on the rest.

Don't wait until it's all finished, you may be too late.

Rose said...

it sounds like a wonderful idea. I agree with MO it wouldn't do any harm to start approaching publishers with a treatment or some chapters. But you should do what feels right. I am so excited about reading this story when it's finished.

There's an ward/ game for you over at my blog too

Bruno said...

Definitely get something to agents/publishers ASAP. If nothing else having interest established and then 'god-forbid' a deadline for submission really focuses the mind!
30-40 pages is all they need.

Ev said...

Treatment and first four chapters, in the next post! It'll sit in their offices for at least three months anyway. They are incredibly slow at getting back to you at the moment - everyone is writing, and everyone thinks they should be published immediately. Believe in your book, (and yes, I agree angels are on the way 'in'!) hold your breath and it will happen...actually don't hold your breath, you might die and miss your big book launch!'

Jayne said...

Hello Martin. That is very true, and I am going to get things ready to send in the first week of January. Eek!

Jayne said...

Hello Rose. I have decided to go for it in early January, I think that feels like the right time for me. And thank you for being excited - that makes me feel excited! And I will post the award/game tomorrow - thank you for that, I'm honoured!

Jayne said...

Hello Bruno. Thanks for the good advice, much appreciated. I can imagine an agent/publisher wanting a full manuscript would work very well as a nice kick up the backside! Oh, if only that happens!

Jayne said...

Hello Ev, and welcome! Thank you so much for your comment, and good advice. I've decided to go for it in the first week of January - this gives me time to get a hopefully cracking synopsis and query together. I do believe in my book... just need to believe in me a bit more I think!