Saturday, December 17, 2005

Incognito

I can't believe that it's almost been a week since I last posted. At least I have a good excuse - I've been slaving away on a manuscript.

A few months ago, I talked about some issues I was having with my writing, specifically with my current work-in-progress. After much thought, I decided to send my manuscript to a freelance children's book editor. I NEVER thought I would pay to send my manuscript off to someone just to get their opinion on it. I guess I always thought that my work was good enough to entice any editor or agent. HA!! If only I had known then what I know now about the craft of writing and the publishing industry.

I paid a good penny for it, but it was THE BEST critique I've ever gotten on a manuscript. The editor send me a very detailed outline of the good and bad points of the novel. And while she hit on a lot of topics, she identified the ONE BIG THING that I had been missing. Once she mentioned it, I was amazed at how I had overlooked such an important detail.

The good thing is that it's fairly easy for me to fix the novel. While the plot needs tweaking, the character-driven feel of the story is strong. The bad thing is that I only have two more weeks to finish it.

I really want to submit it to a contest at the end of the year. There are still some technicalities that I'm trying to work through, but if everything works out, I plan to submit. Something tells me it's something I'm supposed to do. I don't think I'll win (the subject matter may be a little too edgy) but I really believe it was meant for me to submit to the contest.

Speaking of edgy - there is one thing that the editor talked about that really just sunk in with me this morning - if this book ever gets published, it'll probably be challenged, and maybe even banned. Another editor said the same thing at the SCBWI conference. Now, neither editors are saying that I shouldn't write the book, but they are warning me of some potential issues that some people will find objectionable. As much as this sucks, I think I'm okay with it.

But, I guess I'm putting the cart before the horse. I need to get the book published before it has a chance to be banned. And I can't get it published if I don't finish it. So, I guess I need to finish the damn thing.

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