Week five and I spent a whole solid week on Dunn…that’s when I wasn’t fiddling around with WordPress and getting very annoyed that I can’t seem to make it do what I want it to do….I followed the instructions and everything, but I still can’t make it put a working link to my blog in the menu along the top when I use a static front page!!! I put the ‘link’ there, but it seems to require you to log in as me to see them…all a bit annoying so I’ve had a tantrum and left it as it is for now. That was last Friday – a whole week ago. It’s flying by and I already don’t want to go back to work……though I’m feeling the lack of salary!
It’s been an up and down week with the writing again as well, though actually looking at it now, I’ve done quite a bit – four more chapters almost right. I’m starting to look at chapter twelve (of twenty six) and I’m 38,000 words in. It’s not going too badly…
Unfortunately chapter ten is giving me a headache. I feel like this guy must have done when he realised he hadn’t found a free antelope lying in the bush
Yes I am gratuitously shoving in my safari photos!!!!
Chapter ten is reminding me of a nineties indie song called ‘She said’, because all the shes just keeps saying, over and over again. There’s a lot of looking going on too – I remember my writing tutor pointing this out to me at the time we went through it (gulp – two and a half years ago) and being oblivious. He always used to always say ‘English is such a rich language, you must be able to find another word for looked/said’ (these were my main culprits). He hasn’t said that in ages though, because I don’t do it anymore!!! I have to remember that when the re-writing gets migraine-inducing, because he is so much more positive about my second novel – I must have learnt and that’s the point. But he was right. In the current draft ‘she looks at her, he looks at him. It’s boring and clunky. So I have spent two days rejigging and re-wording that!! I’m happier now, but not happy….
Cue the mantra…re-writing is good writing.
I’ve also decided to bite the bullet and send Dunn to a literary agent to try to get published before going down the self-publishing route. I know it’s a long shot, and that they have x billion submissions a week, but there’s just too much to sort out with the self-publishing route, so I don’t want to go there unless I have to. I probably will have to – I accept that. But the idea of trying to get the whole thing formatted just right, paying for a book cover design, paying a company around a grand to bring it out as an e-book. It’s a big outlay of time and funds. Then there’s the marketing minefield. I can’t even get wordpress working so I stand little chance of launching a successful independent marketing campaign. I think I would rather try at least to get an agent to help me.
I’ve done a fair bit of research (thank you writers and artists yearbook) and I’ve identified a few that seem to be actively encouraging submissions from debut novelists. Two are standing out as ‘try first’. One of them represents three of my favourite authors and whilst I wouldn’t claim to be anywhere near as good as any of them, they have certainly influenced my writing. The other represents books that sound good, but I haven’t read….I probably need to read a bit more widely. What they all say is make sure it is finished and polished before you send the sample chapters. None of the agents or the publishers will read unsolicited manuscripts these days from what I’ve been reading. They just have too many. They also have very specific submissions requirements. For example, one of the agencies I am looking at requires a 300 word synopsis and the other wants 3000….They want a covering letter that sells the book to them, in which you and your book sound interesting, but don’t talk about yourself too much….So I’ve started the synopsis, following guidelines given by these agencies, advice given online and using the good old ‘writers and artists year book). I’ve got a short version readyish…..the letter and the long version are next week. I think if I keep at it, I can get the last more ‘polished’ draft of Dunn ready in about a month. That’s remember, remember the 5th/6th of November. That’s the aim. We’ll see.
Will obviously also sort out WordPress site, actually write some more of novel two before I see my writing tutor next week and do some cleaning (not). Ooo and very exciting if you are a running addict (switch off now if you’re bored of my running tales)…managed my fastest running ever at the new running club last night – and I wasn’t dead, and my hamstrings didn’t grumble…..Can I keep it up for 5k plus though? NO!!! But maybe I’ll get there eventually.