Revision* is not an ugly word
* And very often stretches the brain!
It’s been a while since my last post, but in that time I have been working daily, sometimes for hours, sometimes for only a moment, reworking the story. Mind in overdrive!
The feedback received from the agent I submitted to several months back proved to be a gift, and was very focused and succinct, enabling me to refine the story even further.
One of my biggest struggles, which seems to be a very common issue, at least for us greener novelists, is how to write a story that accommodates the rules of genre (YA? MG? In-betweener (INB), which, yes, I have come across and is a thing), the little detail of word count…that golden number that can help, or hinder, a new author right out the gate, while still allowing the story to flow freely from the mind’s eye.
After sitting on these parameters for awhile I decided to try flipping protagonist duties from the younger, fearless younger sister to the older, overly cautious sister grappling with anxiety and fears. Immediately the story came into sharper focus. From there, I returned to the beginning, revising what I had written to be reflected through her eyes, her feelings and experiences. At the same time I followed along my already forged trail of words, working on trimming the word count. This was all a big win for me in all regards, as it resulted in a story that now feels more immediate and much more emotional. What I hold in my hands now falls more clearly within the upper MG novel tier and most aligns with the genre of magical realism and I am very excited by this clarity of vision.
Moving forward my next steps, which I hope to have completed by early New Year, include:
- Letting the story simmer and sit a moment (once more for freshness of eye!)
- Re-reading from the beginning, with any eye on weeding out any lingering typos and pulling out any remaining unnecessary words
- Revising my synopsis
- Revising my query letters
- Finding two more agents (in addition to two that I have already researched, and seem potentially a good fit)
- Resubmitting the manuscript
That will keep me busy! Expect another update to follow. Until then, roll on 2020!