06/06/2012

FINISHED! (well, kinda)

After a long month of re-writing my first ever book, I have reached the final page!
It has quite a history, this book. I first wrote it at least six years ago – a 180,000 word fantasy. Far too long, of course, but I was carried away with writing. I sent off some submissions and one agent actually asked to see the whole book. With great rejoicing I told family and friends - my kids even baked a cake - and I parcelled it up and had it hand-delivered. After a few weeks it was refused, and it was hugely embarrassing having to tell everyone after the initial euphoria. Back to the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook.
   Then I fell for a scam. I paid £350 “expenses” to another agent who said my book was fantastic and he wished he’d found something similar to read when he was young. I waited six months for him to find the promised publisher, and I had written a 190,000 word sequel before I realized he was a crook. He is still around playing the same tricks, so don’t fall for it!
   But he’d done me a favour in a way because, when I started re-reading my books after a six-month break, I could see a whole raft of things I had done wrong. I did a complete re-write and split the two books into a series of five. Each one is self-contained but there is a theme running through the series, and I sent the first book out to every agent who would consider fantasy. All I got was rejections. Again.
   Now, some years later, having read lots of advice to writers, I have written three other novels and am giving my fantasy series another major overhaul! I have already cut 10,000 words from the first book, re-named it and the whole series. It’s very different now, but last time round I approached most of the possible agents. I am afraid that even now some of them might remember my original submission and reject me without a second glance.
   The moral of my tale? Don’t submit too soon.

 I was so sure the cactus would flower today! I went out armed with my camera and brimming with confidence, but look at it! Still hiding its light under a ficus bush(~el).
The pollinators are sitting on the nearby aloe vera plant with their arms crossed, tapping their feet with impatience. 
Three days ago the bud was as long as my thumb - now it's bigger than my hand.
Imagine what the flower is going to be like!

5 comments:

  1. Can't wait to see that flower, Lizy!

    As for your books - good luck this time round. I have three books sitting on back-burners, waiting for a 're-vamp' before re-submitting ....although I can honestly say the 'thrill' of getting published seems a very long way off (and some days I really do think 'Is it worth it?')

    But - all power to you! Keep on keeping on! ;-)

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  2. Congratulations! And thanks for sharing your experiences. I have certainly made similar mistakes...it's a learning process, right? Best of luck with your next steps!

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  3. Congratulations on finishing. I'm glad you weren't set back too far by the rogue agent.

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  4. well done, Liz. There's a new publisher advertising in WM this month called Ginger Top, of all things. Perhaps you could send it to them. There's not much to see on their website as yet, so they might be eager to take on some new authors and have plenty of enthusiasm for marketing and publicity.

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  5. Congratulations on finishing. And you can chalk up all your struggles to experience. No one ever tells us how hard writing is, or how many setbacks there are before we are "discovered." All that writing will make you... a better writer, which is, of course, what we all want. Perseverance, milady, perseverance. ;-)

    Those are the most charming cacti. They look like little people with big snouts. They remind me of those really odd cones on some Australian tree. Can't remember their name right now, but I love them. So cute.

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