Saturday, 23 January 2010

I Think I'm Nearly There

After six drafts of this book as a novel and two drafts as a memoir, I think I'm really, finally, getting somewhere. This week I've had feedback from two readers who I know will tell me exactly what they think. And they have. I've had comments like 'clunky', 'not good enough', 'YUCK', and even 'Please see me!' with an arrow that led to a long diatribe on the back of the page ending '...you're going to have to rewrite that scene.'

Eight drafts in, I'm entirely used to comments like this - in fact, I welcome them, because I need to know where I'm going wrong. There's no point having critters who don't crit. The thing is, though, in this draft, there aren't actually that many comments. And most of the critical ones are easily fixed. Plus, in places, there were chunks of several pages with no comments at all. And my readers also made rather a lot of lovely comments. One was a first-time reader, because I wanted some fresh eyes on my work. She laughed out loud in places, welled up in others and, once, was moved to tears. I couldn't ask for more.

The book still needs some structural and thematic work, but not a huge amount. My 'to do' list isn't very long. Which feels odd. I know there's still work to do, and it's important that I do it as well as I can, but you know what? I think most of the work, taken overall, is done. I remember this feeling from my PhD days: there was a point, two or three months before I submitted my thesis, when I realised I was over the hump, that it was, in a sense, all downhill from now on.

I do so hope that, when this book is finally as good as I can make it, I can get the damn thing published!!!

12 comments:

Debs said...

I like the reaction of the first time reader, it sounds very positive to me.

Good luck with it.

L-Plate Author said...

Well done Queenie, there really isn't anything like that feeling! xE

JJ Beattie said...

WOW. I'm so in awe. All the very best with it leaving the nest.

Pat said...

You certainly deserve to.
I'm sure you never find - like I do - from time to time - that four chapters have morphed into five with a heading I don't remember:)

Jenn said...

I love getting a manuscript back that's been written on - I didn't realise it until I'd been writing and teaching for a while, but having a person who cares enough not only to read, but to offer suggestions, is a precious thing. Glad you're finding it useful!

hilaryusfun said...

It still seems that you are making enormous progress! so excited about reading it.

HelenMHunt said...

Yey - go you! I can't wait to read it.

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

I hope you can get it published too! Apart from anything else, I want to read it. xxx

Carol said...

I'm at the point of getting feedback from Chris on my essays....I've finished one and have 500 words to go on the other! The 2nd one is not going well which is why I am here instead of working on it...(I've given myself this morning off)

I'm so glad that your getting there...it's a great feeling!

C x

Queenie said...

Thanks all - big kisses *mwah*

Debi said...

Close, my dear Squirty Cream, really close ...

Queenie said...

Squirty Cream? SQUIRTY CREAM??? Is there something wrong with your hearing? Whether there is or not, it's the Tower for you, young woman, just as soon as I stop laughing.