I didn't quite realize the significance of this accomplishment (that has taken almost two years) until my writing friends congratulated me and I read several posts on the YA Muse blog about how momentous it is to press "Send."
But I felt empty. What was next?
Rebecca recommended taking a break from the novel while she read it. One month from now I expect to receive her comments and "big edits." Things like "this scene doesn't move the story along" or "you need to add depth to Kate's personality" or "I think you should try writing this in first person point of view" You know, little things like that.
My draft is full of questions. For example, in this scene Kate is worried about who she will meet in downtown Charlotte when she's shopping with Lillie:
Kate breathed in deep to calm herself down. Her imagination was getting the best of her. Probably the worst that could happen would be seeing someone from the luncheon or school. How bad could that be ? [need different language?]
Who was the worst person she could run into? Hands down, it would be Shirley Wright. She imagined Shirley sashaying down the aisle toward them. First she would see Kate, then her eyes would shift to Lillian. Shirley’s eyebrows would go up in shock—she wouldn’t have time to try and conceal her surprise. [is this too long?]
I'm hoping that Rebecca will answer some of these questions...but that might happen in the next round of edits and revisions. Because as I teach in my writing workshops, writing and revising happens in a cycle, over and over again.
Until it's the final time to hit the send button.
Which probably won't happen for another 6-12 months.
So, what is a writer to do while she waits for feedback?
Plenty. I've been...
- Working on a teen writing workshop at the Matthews Library on Friday, July 12. Writers in grades 6-9 will learn how to write science fiction and fantasy stories. There's still room and you can register your child here.
- Developing my fall Writing Fiction Workshop at the Levine Campus of CPCC. This is the first time I'll teach intermediate writers and I'm looking forward to helping students delve deeper into characterization, plot, and scenes.
- Preparing the SCBWI-Carolinas blog. If you write or illustrate for children and live in North Carolina or South Carolina, our fall conference is the place to be.
- Preparing next week's guest blog from my fellow writing judge, Kim Van Sickler. She'll be sharing her positive experiences entering writing contests.
- Reading The House at the End of the Road. For those of you who enjoyed the series on Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond, I think you'll enjoy another series about a multi-racial family in the Jim Crow era in Alabama.
- Finishing the July issue of Talking Story. As always, Joyce Hostetter and I will have several books to give away, so if you don't subscribe yet, you can do so by pressing the "Subscribe" button here. New subscribers automatically are entered in our giveaway contest.
- And last, but certainly not least, my oldest daughter is getting married in three weeks.
I guess that's enough to keep me occupied while I wait for feedback on my manuscript. Don't you think?