Five Year Writing Goal
I’m taking part in Misha and Beth’s Five Year Project and my five-year goal is to write a novel and get it published.
It is two months since I last posted an update. Many distractions have interfered with my path to publication, but I have made some significant progress.
With the realisation that I might have written a children’s novel, came the realisation that I know nothing about modern children’s fiction. So I did the following things.
- Read a number of historical children’s novels from the limited selection in our local library.
- Attended the East Midlands Writing Conference and a panel on writing for children and YA, where I learnt plenty of useful information.
- Handed in my Birkbeck assignment (the first 3 chapters of my novel) and took note of the tutor’s marking comments.
- Responded to an overture by a children’s literary agent, who kindly offered to read my first three chapters and synopsis. This forced me to write a synopsis, a process that was much harder than I anticipated.
- Following this, was asked to send the whole manuscript to the agent, which forced me to finish the third major redraft.
I felt a sense of utter relief after I sent the thing off.
Now, I’m waiting for the agent’s comments. She has already pointed out my protagonist is too young to appeal to YA readers or early teens. I think this is major problem because I don’t think the subject matter would be interesting or appropriate for pre-teens. I will have to wait and see what she says when she’s read the whole thing.
In the meantime, I have re-read the latest draft and, taking on board new comments from my Birkbeck tutor, I am confident I could turn this back into an adult novel if pushed in that direction.