Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Letting your Manuscript leave the nest, and what happens then…

This is where I find myself with, 'Through Mortal Eyes' my YA fantasy novel. It's my first novel, and it's taken me three years. Ten months of which was spent researching and plotting, then another year doing the initial write, and then all the rest re-writing and polishing. Along the way my relationship with TME (my pet name for Through Mortal Eyes) has grown. I've nurtured her, seen her grow from an initial concept to a whole book, and then watched her mature with each re-write. And like any good parent, I've defended her in the face of those who question her, plus talked, and talked some more, about her to uninterested people who are too polite to stop me.
My manuscript is my baby, and I'm having a hard time letting her go. After all, there is still so much we could do together, surely another re-write wouldn't hurt. But no, this is just procrastination, because I don't want to ever let her go. And, after much deliberation, I eventually managed to press 'SEND'.

So now my baby's all grown up back packing across the world, well, to an editor anyway. I'm alone, abandoned in an empty house, with no manuscript to keep me company.

What do you do, when your manuscript has flown the nest?
Go for coffee?
Clean the house?
Take up yoga?
Start baking? (better not – I've already set fire to one kitchen!)
Start writing something new?
Work on my enquiry letter and synopsis ready to send out to agents?

Well this is tricky; I've spent so much time always with something to do on the manuscript that I'm lost. I've spent the last week pinning – sad I know, but if this is foreshadowing of my children going off to university well then I know I'm going to be awful. My heads been all fluffed up, and I can't seem to concentrate on anything. I need to work on my submission bits, but for now I need a holiday. So this morning I reached for the box.

My box is an old filing box, and in the box I keep my ideas. Whenever I have an idea that I think will be a good basis for a story I note it down, along with plot outlines and characters information, and file it. So I picked out an idea I had a while ago, and started plotting the narrative, and working on character profiles. It has been exhilarating; I had forgotten just how exciting the initial stages of writing can be. When you're still discovering the story and getting to know the characters, when there are as many surprises for you, the author, as there are for the protagonists in the story. So I've managed for the first time, since e-mailing TME to my editor, to forget her and get on with something. I suspect that that something is probably my next co-dependant relationship with a manuscript, but never mind!

Oh yes, finally, she's due back in 5 weeks – can't wait!

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