Wednesday, 14 July 2010

after the party!

...following the reading I did at The Art Workers Guild I was approached by four different literary agents - two on the night and two via email the following day. I have spoken with all of them and their feedback on the extract and my novel story line is encouraging. After the ego boost however I have decided not to show them anything further - not even a synopsis - until I have a completed first draft to a satisfactory standard. They have all been fine about this. I know now that there are atleast four slush piles it won't end up on, so thats a big carrot, incentivising me to plough on. To that end, I have arranged to become Emma Sweeney's mentee until atleast December. Our first session is on Monday in the Cambridge Uni Soc Cafe.

I did go in to meet one agent - a very positive experience - again very encouraging. But lets wait and see what happens when I send in the finished manuscript.

It feels very strange not having to go into class at City on a Monday and Wednesday now!

Have not sat down to write anything new for weeks as busy finishing off course work for City(commentary assignment and editing chapters 2-4) and preparing for the end of course reading.

I have - however been mulling over - I did the final follow up session with Vicky Gruts' Novelists club last saturday which was helpful in this process. I'd submitted for peer review the confessional letter I had my protagonist write - as an excerisize - from which I will write in first person present tense the final chapters of my novel. Having another writer who is a psychiatrist with tons of experience in treating post traumatic stress was really a plus - I am going to contact her to arrange a meet for research to help me plant flash backs and behaviours in a realistic way throughout the story.

I also re read feedback on the last two pieces I work shopped at City - which has helped me enormously in clarifying the overall tone of my novel and what I am aiming for and what I am not. So though I have plenty of raw material from these pieces and other material I've scribbled from the past - I have some serious re writing ahead. Already I have changed how and when Roland and Almir become aquianted and where and when they first "do it" but I am not giving away any more here. All this proves to me that experimentation - trying out scenes and work shoping them - is crucial in dicovering not only what works and what doesn't BUT WHY and in which direction the novel is developing and whether this is the best direction.

This afternoon my neighbour and fellow writer Nikki Cornwell is comming round to chat about writing - she is working on her third novel- and we are readers of one anothers work. Looking forward to that!


1 comment:

  1. I agree about workshopping experimental pieces to gather feedback. It would only be an exercise in ego-boosting to submit something that had been polished and re-written many times over. You'd either get lots of praise from people who liked it and the feedback from people who weren't into what you were doing wouldn't be that helpful.

    I tended to do that -- rather than start at chapter one and move forward. I think I've probably gathered more useful feedback than I might have otherwise. At least I had fourteen people's views on my sex scene, which is probably many times more than I'd get had I left it until after the course.