Thursday 18 July 2013

The Light At The End of the Tunnel

So when I first entered the tunnel labelled Write A Book, I had no idea what I was getting into. Lots of people dream about someday being able to see their writing in print, and I'm one of them. For many years though, stuff kept getting in my way. I've always been a writer, but I was horrible for starting things and then having them fizzle out on me. It usually went something like this:

  1. You know, that idea would make a neat book.
  2. Oh, and it would be great if events X, Y, and Z happened!
  3. I love this idea & I'm going to write it down!
  4. (after approximately 5000 words) I'm just not feeling it anymore.
  5. Why can't I just finish it already?
There were variations on this of course, but  finishing was my problem. Don't ask me why. I'm an avid reader, and a decent writer, and I have a good grasp of story construction, but for some reason I just couldn't ever get it done.

It was a little over a year ago that I started getting really serious about writing again. An idea hit, I sat down, and voila, 20,000 words later I had a completed story. Now that's barely novella territory, but that story had one thing going for it: it was finished!

That was when the challenge landed in my lap. Harper Voyager was having an open submission extravaganza for the first two weeks in October 2012. They were looking for books that were a minimum of 70k. I had a nugget of an idea. Could I turn the nugget into a full 70k? And more importantly, could I do it in a month, because I only found out about it at the beginning of September. You never know if you don't try right?

Well imagine my astonishment when I did it! Now, I only finished it on October 14 (the last day of submissions) so I didn't have a chance to do much in terms of revising. I wasn't at all surprised when I got my nice rejection email in January. But now I was free to take the book somewhere else, so after going through it again, I sent it to Evernight Teen. 

And they wanted it! Yay for me! So I signed my shiny contract and waited for the edits. At the end of March I received them and it inspired my Salad in a Bag post.  It was then I began the process of revising. Well, I use the term "revising" lightly. More like completely rewriting. 

So what originally took me a month to write, took me three and a half months to re-write. But guess what?

I'M DONE!!!!!

The re-writes are finished and in the hands of my trusty beta-reader, and I will be sending it in to the publisher soon. This is not the end of the tunnel, but I can see the light! I will still have to do more edits, but the most difficult part is done. 

Thank you to all of you who have been on this journey with me!

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