Sunday, 11 December 2016

In which I look back

It's December.  It's the sort of time when things get reviewed.  Arbitrary as it may be, there are things to review and it's as good a time as any.

So NaNoWriMo happened.  My final wordcount for the month (and the first draft) came in at just over 104,000 words.  Slightly fewer than last year, but the story ends when it ends.  And first drafts are where we find things, no matter how much we think we planned the story in advance.  I found a Khevelese engineer living in the refugee camp with fire in her heart and a refusal to take any crap despite her situation.  I found the story wants to be more of a mosaic, picking up perspectives from all over the city.  And I found the poisoner wasn't who I thought it was, and now the whole story needs reworking with that in mind.

This is why no one ever gets to see the draft I knock out during NaNo.  I reach the end of the month with so many ideas about how I should have been writing the story that there's no point in sending it to beta readers.  They'll get a later version, when I've fixed all the really obvious stuff.

The other thing I did this year was that big ol' rash declaration about sending a novel out to agents.  I managed that, of course.  The queries went out, and whilst I'm still mostly waiting to hear back (it's a busy time of year) I have now had two (two!) requests for the full manuscript.  And that's set against only one flat rejection, which seems like a damn good hit rate to me.  Even if both of those requests ultimately turn into rejections, it's a positive sign that those opening chapters have something good in them.  I'm feeling quite optimistic about the whole affair at the moment.  We'll see how long that lasts.

It's nice to have something to feel optimistic about at the moment.  I never did get a proper response to the email I sent to my MP.  And the world is probably going to end in nuclear apocalypse before I get a book published.  But, you know, if racing the end of the world is what it takes then I'm lacing up my running shoes.

Oh yeah, running.  Really ought to get back to that...


  1. Y'know, that feeling of coming apocalypse might be exactly what's spurring me on, too.

    High fives, Claire!

    I found the word I was looking for last night: I'm inspired by it.

    1. 'Inspired' is a good word. I've always wanted to be inspirational ;)

  2. Sounds positive. Almost... too positive. No, seriously, all great news!

    Why yes, I am a bit jealous, why would you ask? (but, then, you work at these things and I do not, so think entitled jealousy of your hard work).

    1. You work at many other important things though. You're far more consistent with your blogging than I am, for starters ;)

      But yes, this tiny sliver of positive progress (which could still ultimately end in rejection) is really the result of a decade of writing crappy first drafts until I found one good enough to be worth working on, and then a year of editing it and polishing it before I sent it out. Really, anyone could do it