The last three months have brought about so many wonderful things on the path to finishing this story.
First, I had positive feedback from not one, but two agents, who I pitched at local conferences. Talk about motivation to finish!!!
Second, I was fortunate and very humbled to be invited to become a member of a local writing group – Richmond Children’s Writers. It has been exactly what I need to move forward in my writing career. There are 10 other writers in the group and they have been so patient with me and my learning curve. It’s an honor to be able to learn from them and hopefully give back. I have learned a TON!
Last, but not least, I finished my 2nd revision of ‘Maiden‘. I know I’m still not ‘done’ yet, but it was nice to have another box checked off. I had four beta-readers total who were willing to go through the story and look for all the things that need to be fixed (I love you all!). This week I finally got all the feedback. Having another set of eye balls on it gave me so much perspective. Things I knew needed to get fixed and didn’t know how, or ideas I never would have thought of that will make the story that much better.
Some of the common themes I kept hearing from the beta-readers that I need to work on:
– Jeanette needs to have more purpose, more vision (interesting choice of words, given the relevance eye’s play in the book)
– I had too many point-of-view characters. I need to keep out of so many people’s heads and keep it simple. This has been great feedback for me and has really helped me keep the pace moving.
– The story is intended to be young adult and it is an adventure, that much I know. The question has been about fantasy? What entails fantasy? At first, because there was a make believe land, it seemed fantasy was a good fit, but the book doesn’t have any dragons, wizards, or magic…typical fantasy flare. But it does have some ‘elements’ of fantasy. When readers went in thinking it was an adventure fantasy, they had a preconceived idea of what to expect, and when that’s not what it was, they were not happy. So apparently I need to come up with something other than fantasy…’fantasy light’?
– There is a war that has been going on in the land, and is still waging. I need to make it darker, more stark…have more affect in the everyday lives of the citizens.
That’s just a few things. Great feedback that will really help bring the story to life.
Very excited for this next phase of revising and to (sooner than later) have that final manuscript in hand and ready for submissions!