Five Year Writing Goal: May update

Thanks to a kind offer by a literary agent, I was forced to write a synopsis and finish the third draft of my novel.

Five Year Writing Goal

do you have goalsI’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.

Ruth Livingstone - utter relief when novel sent off

What next?

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.

Author: Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, doctor, woman, etc.

16 thoughts on “Five Year Writing Goal: May update”

  1. You’re an example to writers everywhere. So often, writers (myself included), storm into things they have no experience of just assuming that they can blag it. I attempted an altered history story once and the amount of research was phenomenal! I had to give up after I was spending hours researching stuff for every single chapter. Best of luck!


    1. I enjoyed the research much more than I thought I would. Every time I read an interesting fact I was thinking ‘how can I include this in the story’. A great way to learn history too!


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