Friday, March 22, 2013

Storyteller's Journey

 Inevitable Change

The arrival of spring is always a welcome event in the Pacific Northwest - with it comes the promise of warmer, brighter days ahead after months of gray, wet weather.

Change is inevitable in nature: we are all  aware that without it, plants and animals can not grow, thrive, or even survive. The same can be said for just about anything - including the life of a writer.

Last Saturday I interviewed my good writer friend - Kriston Johnson. (She is the author of the soon-to-be-released young adult novel - Awakened.) Kriston mentioned the need for writers to have their work professionally edited prior to self-publication. She and I have had long discussions about this very topic. There is a growing trend in the publishing world where writers are having their work professionally edited even before sending out query letters.

After having my middle grade manuscript reviewed by beta readers and partially edited by a retired editor friend, I have come to the conclusion that my story deserves something special...but what? Since I'm a firstborn, Type A individual, it has always been difficult for me to ask for help...but the time has come.

I have completed a cover letter and a synopsis for my middle grade novel, and will be sending them off next week with a request to obtain the services of an East Coast literary editor/consultant. I came to this decision for many reasons - here are a few:

1- The expertise that a veteran children's book editor can offer is just what I need to make my story shine.
2- The particular editor I will be contacting is known to me through a number of her clients...she has a stellar reputation.
3- I have seen talented writers either not gain representation, or if they did, their manuscripts never seemed to progress further than the agent's desk.

If you really knew me, you would know how difficult this decision has been. Obtaining the services of a professional literary editor/consultant is not only a professional investment, but a financial one as well. As I have proceeded on my storyteller's journey, I have learned so much about the world of publishing. I believe my best chance to gain representation is to catch the attention of an agent right from the start.

Change. This journey has brought about so many changes in my life. This next step represents crossing over a shaky bridge with uncertain waters lurking below. There is no guarantee that the editor I mentioned will agree to accept me as her client. The intense desire to see my story traditionally published has brought me to this place.

I'm hoping for new energy and a positive change in my life as a writer.



Have you experienced any recent changes on your writing journey?

12 comments:

  1. I believe you go with your gut on these decisions. Only you really know where you stand. I'm fighting for that place in traditional publishing too.

    Writing can be a lonely job at times. There is no shame in asking for help, opinion, or suggestion. I believe it shows tremendous growth on a writer's part. We can't truly do it completely alone.

    A fresh pair of eyes is always good. And a professional pair of eyes is even better. I believe a good investment will pay off in the end. Sending you a hug, and wishing you the best on the project. I can't wait to read your book!

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    1. Loree - you have been such a good friend; thank you from the bottom of my heart. I too, hope to read my story...as a book! ^_^

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  2. No changes for me, I'm just plugging along.

    Good luck on your changes though. I hope that it's a wonderful experience and that it ends with a publication.

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    1. Thanks, Sara. As you know, even if I am lucky enough to reach my goal (and that is a BIG if), it would still be years away. Have a great weekend!

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  3. Good luck on getting the services of this professional editor and then getting an agent. I think you are doing a very wise thing. A big change I made recently was to start a new blog that is a compatible companion to the research I'm doing for my MG series. And, BTW, thanks, Victoria, for following my new blog.

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. I always enjoy your blog posts; good luck with Victorian Scribbles!

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  4. I know what you mean about asking for help. I always tend to think I should be able to do everything by myself. It's a positive step to accept outside input though. Critique groups prove that, right?! Congratulations, Victoria on taking this big step! I hope it is exactly the thing your story needs.

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    1. It's funny because since I made this decision and placed a deadline on myself to send her a letter, I am second guessing my manuscript. I'm spending long hours tweaking every little thing, that has already been revised...and revised! Thanks, Ruth.

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  5. I've enrolled on a revision course and a writing conference. It's something I put on my list of things to do this year. I'll be blogging about it soon.

    Daunting? Yes. But I know it's all worth it.

    All the best with your feedback.

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    1. I think part of the reason it took me so long to come to this decision was that I wanted my work to be great before requesting editing services. (Sort of like losing weight before one joins a gym! ^_^) Thanks, Debbie, and good luck with your writing events!

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  6. This is a wonderful change and it certainly will be great for your story. Best wishes for the next stage of your writing journey.

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    1. Thanks, Lynda. I guess it's time for me to put on my "big girl" pants! Take care ~

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