Saturday, March 27, 2010

Book has the flu

Amy emailed me a couple of days ago with her second critique. She did not say, "Andi, you followed all my suggestions! A little change here, a few edits there, and you're good to go. Let's talk agents."

Instead, she said this: Every scene needs to in some way cause a later scene, and every scene needs to be caused by an earlier scene. This is how fiction differs from real life...we need to feel pressure building, things becoming more complicated for the main character and for her primary goal..."

After a couple more pages, she wrote "I know I'm being very prescriptive here. Take these recommendations with a grain of salt."

I say, prescribe away, because I am feeling disheartened and lost. Well, slightly less so after meeting with her this afternoon. We went over her critique, point by point, and analyzed each scene, one by one, getting rid of a few, and adding new ones. She also had some great plot ideas that add both tension and fun to the novel. I feel as if, with Amy, I am getting an individual tutorial in how to structure a novel (Amy teaches creative writing at a university).

I have a lot to do, but I know I can do it. I asked Amy to tell me if she felt that the book was publishable, or was I wasting my time. Her response: "You have a great voice, and it can work if you make these fixes." I'll take that as a yes.

It's all doable, but I almost cried when Amy suggested it needed about year's worth of work. I reminded her how quickly I did my last revision, although of course we now know it wasn't that good. Plus, she may not be available to re-read it until the FALL. Aaargh. We discussed the option of my switching to a different reader if she can't get to it for a while. After our meeting, I tossed that idea around with a friend, and I became persuaded that it's best to stick with Amy, however long it takes. I am so goddamn impatient, I can't stand it. I started this five or six years ago, it's undergone numerous revisions, and I want it done so it can be an Alec Baldwin movie and he can be my boyfriend.

Monday, March 8, 2010

I'm still here

Back by popular demand - okay, one comment - just letting my fan(s) know that I'm still alive. I've been silent because I haven't had any breaking news. I could write about my knitting - I finally finished my adaptation of that sweater from Barney's and mine is more gorgeous. I could say that Jeff Bridges has finally gotten the recognition he deserves. But you don't care about that.

I sent Amy, my book doctor, the revision at 7:00 a.m. on February 26th. Believe it or not, I forgot to ask her when she might be finished. Note to self: Email Amy immediately.

I'm starting to gather agent info, reviewing my list of people I submitted to before, and ordering a subscription to Publisher's Weekly, which sends out a daily newsletter listing agent deals. I've also rewritten my query letter - what an author sends an agent describing her book - in case (fat chance) some agent might get mine and say, "Hmmm, didn't I pass on this two years ago?"

Next time you hear from me, I will have had Amy's reaction to my rewrite. Stay tuned.