Sunday, June 11, 2006

Somebody help me please

Yes, a line from a Beatles' hit, but also a plea from my heart. I am in a quandary - and I don't like it. As you may know, about 2 weeks ago I completed the rewriting of the m/s that had been returned by the publishers. I then put the m/s away, started working with The Writing Coach programme on a new novel, acquired the names of 2 agents recommended by the RNA, wrote a scintillating letter to send to them with synopsis and first 3 chapters, THEN . . . yesterday, I read through said chapters to give them that vital, final check before sending them off - and thought 'hang on a minute, lady, these aren't anywhere near good enough and they also don't reflect the way you're writing now'.

I think part of the trouble is that I started writing the book 3 long years ago and, as Eva pointed out in one of her recent posts, one's writing changes with time/experience. It is interesting to note that the first few chapters were the only chapters which, during the rewrite from the original draft last year, I barely changed - the rest I rewrote with hardly a glance at the draft.

Obviously, I could decide to hold fire and write the first few chapters again from scratch, but I'm worried that might then necessitate changing the rest of the book. My dilemma lies in the fact that the m/s has now been read by 4 independent published writers, who all liked it, and the RNA liked it enough to send it direct to a publisher. If I rewirite it, I might remove what they thought was good about it. If I don't rewrite it, I'll be sending it off with the feeling that it's not as good as I think I could make it.

What do you think?
(I can't offer any prizes for the correct answer I'm afraid, but I can offer to mention your name in the acknowledgements, should the book EVER get published!)



Blogger Stacy Dawn said...

We need to write for ourselves first so I think you answered your own question:

"If I don't rewrite it, I'll be sending it off with the feeling that it's not as good as I think I could make it"

Now, even though technically you answered your own question, because I pointed it out I still feel I should get credit in the acknowledgements...that would be STACY with no 'E' (happens often and I wouldn't want you to have a spelling mistake on the first page now would I?)

6:26 pm  
Blogger Sue aka MsCreativity said...

Hmm... my initial thoughts were that if you're that unhappy with it, you should perhaps work on it some more.

But then you said that four published writers and the RNA liked it enough to send off to a publisher.

IMO I think you should take a deep breath and send it out. Okay, there's always a chance it'll come back, but if it does, at least you already feel confident that you can improve it.

My gut instinct is telling me that with all the rewriting you've already done, alongside the other votes of confidence you've already had, it will be good enough.

Go for it Annie.

Wishing you the very best,

Sue :-)

6:26 pm  
Blogger Sue aka MsCreativity said...

PS... is a writer ever happy with their own work?

6:31 pm  
Blogger India said...

I'm in the Send It camp too.

Writing's so frustrating. It's choices, choices, choices all the way-- plot details, character stuff, all those words. You have to do all that choosing, and then the revisions come in and you have to do a whole lot more. Re-revisions? Yikes, too much. Don't go there. Get it in the post is my advice.

(Feel compelled to add that no-one has actually taken my advice for a long time. Well, not since the incident with the chocolate fudge cake, the inflatable giraffe and the Britney Spears CD...)

9:12 pm  
Blogger Eva said...

You've carefully nurtured your baby, Annie, compliments have been bestowed on her, now it's time to let her go. You can always take her in again if the need arises.

11:51 pm  
Blogger Annie said...

Thank you all so much for your immediate and thoughtful responses. The overwhelming majority appear to be in favour of sending it - and, if I'm really honest, that's what I want to do, 'cos I want to move on and write something different. I'm working today, so will check the blog when I get home this evening to see if anyone else has come up with anything we haven't thought of; if not, it will be in the post tomorrow!

And what the hell - I'll acknowledge each and every one of you (with or without 'e's)! You deserve it!

A million thanks again. You're all great. I LOVE blogging!

PS: Imogen, you can't possibly not tell us the rest of the giraffe and cake story. By the way, who's Britney?

6:33 am  
Blogger Amanda Ashby said...

Annie, step away from the keyboard and get that book posted. And while you're at PO grab some more stamps because I might just be sending you an agent list!

12:12 pm  
Blogger Stacy Dawn said...

Obviously I am in the majority so my best advice is go with your gut. If it feels right to send it out then let that puppy off the leash.

2:53 pm  
Blogger Annie said...

Okay, okay, I'm going, Amanda. I already received your list on the no-stamps-required mail, so no stamps for you - just a great big THANK YOU.

Stacy, thank you for your second comment - it's a bit like 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' - I've asked all my friends and the audience and I only had a 50/50 choice to start with, so...let's just hope the puppy goes in the right direction!

7:18 pm  

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