I entered the boxing match today – slipped under the ropes and snuck into the center of the ring. Without protective gear, no gloves, no mouth guard, not even a team to cheer me on. Just me and my words and my story. In my quest to enter the traditional world of publishing, I handed my final manuscript to my agent today.
I don’t exactly know what the future holds, but I certainly know what the past year has been like. It was no longer as simple as putting pen to paper and writing about characters that live in your head. There were so many other things to consider. Until this last book, I had never obsessed so much about arcs, and brevity, and finding a happy medium between being too descriptive or too brief. It was no longer just about conveying my emotions, of crying out in beautiful prose, of having fallible characters that readers could identify with, but also about consistency of thought and events and the ability to eliminate words that lead to nothing.
And here I am, fifteen months later, proud as I could be of the lessons afforded to me by both my editor and my agent. They held my hand through every single revision, every draft, every meltdown. Often, when you’re too close to a story, it takes a long time to understand what it is they’re trying to tell you. Often, when you’re too imbedded in your words, you don’t see that they don’t really need to be there.
Thank you, Italia Gandolfo and Renee Fountain for your patience and guidance. And to you, Jim Thomas for being such an eloquent teacher and editor (click here to check him out).
No matter what happens from here on – the jabs, the upper cuts, the blows and maybe even the eventual K-O (by the opponent), it has been an invaluable experience.
The goal? In This Life should be with you soon. One way or another.
I can move on now, my baby is in good hands.
By the way, I’m going to need a Goodreads Librarian to help me set up a new book.