Sunday 1 September 2013

Editing, research and opportunities

The summer has flown by and I've been having a great time with my family. Time to go back to the day job now (boooo!) but also thought I should update on how I've been getting on with the novel and what I have planned for the next few weeks and months.
For the last couple of months I have been going through a printed copy of my manuscript, marking it up with notes and comments. I have also been getting feedback from my first test readers (most of whom have given very positive comments).
So now I have started working on the next draft of the novel, working through my edits on the manuscript, adding content where necessary, changing the point of view of certain passages, and adding back story to characters.
Some of this requires extra research as I stumble on areas that are missing depth. As part of that extra research, I am travelling to Northumberland in a couple of weeks to see some of the locations that feature in the story.
I already know I have taken certain liberties with geography, so after revisiting the sites again for the first time since I was a teenager, I will have to decide which of those liberties I feel comfortable leaving in the story and which I'll have to change. In the end though, the story is more important to me than the historical accuracy, so I am sure to annoy some purists.
I'll write a blog post about the visit to modern day Bernicia in a few weeks.
I've also started investigating in more detail how to go about getting an agent. Once I have completed the current draft I will be sending out submission letters to agencies hoping to get representation. I'll also send out a copy of the novel to a few more test readers who have registered an interest.
In my investigation into agents I discovered an event at Foyles in London. I applied to go and got accepted, so on 16th November I will be pitching my novel to agents from Curtis Brown Creative and Conville & Walsh Literary Agency. The event isn't aimed at getting representation, but it should be a great experience, and a chance to meet other writers as well as publishing professionals.
All in all, exciting times. Wish me luck and who knows what the next couple of months will bring?


  1. Lovely to read of another writer in exactly the same scenario as myself. No matter how many times I might bemoan my rewrite, it has turned up some surprising and wonderful changes to my novel. Until you reach this phase you do not realise how changing pov can transform a scene, or by removing/adding a minor plot arc yo can revolutionise the story.

    Keep going on the redraft and all the best at the pitching event. At the very least you will gain invaluable experience on how industry professionals think and communicate.

  2. And apologies for the typo (you, not yo). Responding from a 'phone does not a good typist make!

    Also meant to say, gorgeous photographs. I have a small list of places to visit too.

  3. It is good to know you are not alone, isn't it? Writing is very lonely, but the internet provides a vast number of other accounts of people going through the same tribulations. It can be a bit scary though to see just how many people are writing! Talk about competition.

    Good luck with your own redraft. Perhaps we can swap drafts at some point. I'll show you mine, etc.... ;-)