I’ve thought about writing something straight. I have lots of ideas but I’ve always convinced myself that it’s just not in me. That was until I got another rejection that asked me to make my manuscript straighter and re-submit it. Although this was hugely encouraging because they like my story and my writing in general it left me with a massive issue. That being that I just can’t go back to a story and change the whole feel of it. It’s such a crazy big task and it would mean changing my character’s personalities (probably) or not perhaps. You see that’s the problem, I just don’t know where to start.
So I almost gave up on the whole challenge of writing that way. But then I thought, I’m being told exactly what a lot of agents are looking for and what? I’m going to just ignore that and plough on as I am? That would make me some kind of stupid…..
So I decided I would try. I probably wouldn’t be able to do it but what the hell, I wouldn’t know unless I tried. I’ve always had this feeling that I should write something more epic, something that will get noticed. Some agents will prioritise reading manuscripts that catch their attention right off. Otherwise you can wait up to 12 weeks for a response.
The idea was there, that wasn’t the challenge. I have a wild imagination so thinking of stories is not an issue for me. It’s translating the idea into words and neglecting to add humour and not being compelled to lighten the mood because it makes me feel better. The first three chapters were really challenging and I wondered if I’d manage to sustain the atmosphere or whether I’d ruin it, not being able to keep it darker. It turns out that I can do it. It took me a while to get my head around this way of writing but I think it’s been worth the effort. It means I can now submit in the thriller genre which is what agents want to see more than anything it seems. Actually it’s what I read myself so I don’t know why I didn’t try it sooner. I think when you tell yourself you can’t do something, your subconscious believes it totally. It’s not easy to retrain it to think otherwise.
My son Harry is by biggest critic when it comes to my writing. It’s not that he picks fault with it or anything but he has other ideas about the stories or he might suggest things if he thinks something isn’t right. I don’t mind that at all. He’s a great writer himself, much better than I was at his age. Anyway, I dropped him into town on Friday and he asked what the story was and how I had written it. I told him the plot and all about the characters and the sub-plot and his reaction was not as I expected. ‘Oh my God that’s so good. How did you think of that? It sounds like a movie’ He’s really quite excited about it and keeps asking me when it will be finished so that he can read it. I love his enthusiasm. Someone commented last week that they’ve never met a sixteen year old like him. It’s because he’s interested in people. He always asks them things. He is genuinely interested and always remembers what people tell him.
Anyway, his response was encouraging. If I can broaden my submissions then that has to be a good thing. I will continue to submit the current novel to the right agents for the genre and as soon as I finish up this latest one I will start another list. You have to research your agent list properly otherwise you will end up submitting to the wrong people. I have not submitted to any male agents so far because I thought they probably wouldn’t get me but now I can so that also opens things up for me.
I won’t keep updating every time I get a rejection or advice but I will come back every couple of weeks to let you know how it’s all going.
Thanks for continuing to read this blog. Sorry if If you have sent me a Facebook message and I haven’t answered it. I do answer all of them eventually but some are from people asking advice and they take lots of time to answer.