I wrote “Naming Names” two years ago. It has only been through one draft, and I am immensely proud of it. When I got it out to send it of to the Mslexia competition, I read it again, but I didn’t tart it up. When it was long-listed, I thought about taking another look at it, but the short-list was still a couple of months away, and I was pretty busy on another project. Besides, I didn’t expect my little book to be short-listed.
Not only was “Naming Names” shortlisted, it was one of the last three books on the table, and things began to happen very quickly. Now, I’m itching to get my hands on it, and I’ve planned several additional scenes that I think will bring a new, better balance to the story. All that remains for me to do is write them, and decide where they belong in the book. It sounds like a no-brainer doesn’t it? But isn’t as simple as you think.
“Naming Names” is currently being read by an agent. I don’t want to do anything until the agent has read and either accepted or rejected the book. Agents know what they’re looking for and they know how they want a writer to develop a book, so it’d be foolish to make changes, if they’re going to be completely different from the changes that the agent wants. There’s no point wasting my time; we all need to work smarter.
I also feel that making the changes I’m thinking about making is inviting rejection, even if they might be useful for the next submissions packet.
So, the only solution, is to make decent notes for the new scenes and get back to work on my current projects. When the jury’s in, I do hope whoever takes on “Naming Names” wants something similar to the additions I’m proposing, because I can’t wait to write them.
I'm in a similar position except I had already (not expected to do so well) edited about half the book and made some fairly radical changes. I'm sure I've improved what was mostly a second draft and the last quarter was cobbled together. I've sent off the edited version rather than the old one, after some worries, but I believe in the changes and the book works better, I think. Once you see something that can be inmproved, it's quite frustrating not being able to do them, so I do sympathise.ReplyDelete