Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not.

It’s a Pitch

with 13 comments

After two days of pacing a friend’s kitchen reading my manuscript aloud, I have decided that it is good enough for me to send off to seek agent representation. My friend is away and I’ve been house sitting. The neighbours hearing me repetitively tread bare floorboards, and a constant chatter in an otherwise empty house, must think I’m mad.

It is two years since I completed the last draft. The time gap allowed me to read without knowing what every next line would be. I even read sentences and sections I don’t remember writing, which was gratifying. Thirty pages in, I was pleasantly surprised and decided the book was good enough to go.

Reading out loud enabled me to find the missing words and letters, the sentences cut off during the previous edit, and missing punctuation. However, even with this slower, more careful pace, there were still typos and the odd missing word when I ran a final spell and grammar check after I made my current edits, all of which were minor and mostly word or flow related. I wonder if I will be ever rid of the need to tweak, but feel the book is ready for a professional edit. I lack confidence in the starts to my chapters; the ends are better and have a neatness or hook that pulls the reader on. I still have difficulty describing the plot succinctly, but there is a story with characters who are different from one another, and dialogue that flows and sounds real. I now have to write a synopsis in order to be able to get someone other than friends, family and fellow writers to read it. There is a synopsis based on the previous draft but at the moment I plan to start afresh and then compare with what went before to see how my approach and what each version says might differ. Tomorrow I will start the process of summarising 84000-words on one side of A4.

 

Priorities for the next fortnight: write synopsis of novel and submit; work on short stories.

Ongoing projects successfully met: I have blogged only a week and a day after my last post; I have crocheted 3 Easter eggs, although my other half says they look nothing like real ones. I can only say I followed the pattern.

Ongoing projects partially addressed: short stories have been considered and the odd word written; I have started to read my old boating diary project.

Fails (as before): blog reading is too low; Italian practise is non-existent; the piano is dustier.

 

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Written by Sarah Ann

March 16, 2017 at 11:06 pm

13 Responses

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  1. Almost there, methinks. Well done.

    tnkerr

    March 17, 2017 at 3:58 am

    • Thank you. I was talking to a writer friend yesterday who had recently heard an agent’s talk on what happens now. I’m not sure my book will be the 1 in 80000 to make it to the shelves, but I live in delusion.

      Sarah Ann

      March 17, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      • Delusion? That’s in South Bucks, isn’t it?

        Ha ha. Just kidding!

        tnkerr

        March 18, 2017 at 12:05 am

      • I think it might be 🙂 A small place, easy to get to, but hard to find the route out.

        Sarah Ann

        March 19, 2017 at 7:32 pm

  2. Good luck! Sooner or later you just have to go for it or you will be tweaking forever 🙂

    draliman

    March 17, 2017 at 8:40 am

    • Too true. I could tweak forever. Let’s hope my current confidence isn’t thanks to a surfeit of caffeine. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      March 17, 2017 at 12:35 pm

  3. I just finished writing a synopsis for mine. I find them painful and troublesome, but I suppose they are necessary. After a beta reader and the critique group, I usually give the copy one last read/edit and send it off. There will be more tweaking after the editor gets his eyeballs on it.

    rgayer55

    March 17, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    • I managed to cobble the first draft of a synopsis before deciding I needed a rest. At 350 words I think it might be too short, but hopefully I will increase the word count this week. Another writer friend is at the synopsis stage and says she hates writing them. Apparently that isn’t a good sign.
      No matter how ready I think the manuscript is, there is always something wrong with it. I’ve got a deadline of 5th April to submit to an agency soliciting for unrepresented writers, so the first three chapters will have to be gone through with a fine toothed comb to make sure they are perfect. And the synopsis. And then there’s the cover letter. My head’s hurting with the thought 😉

      Sarah Ann

      March 19, 2017 at 7:30 pm

  4. My fail list is longer.

    yarnspinnerr

    March 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    • I’m probably selective with the fails I admit to. There are some so far down the list I’ve forgotten I’ve failed to do them 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      March 19, 2017 at 7:20 pm

  5. I think you are so brave to put out your intentions.. I have an idea forming of a book of poetry… but it’s still a few scattered poems and an idea.. someday maybe.

    • Perhaps foolhardy rather than brave. By telling the world there are now others to whom I must report my progress. And if there is little progress, that should prod me to work harder.

      Sarah Ann

      March 19, 2017 at 9:58 pm

  6. […] am not sure what I was on in March when I thought that my has-been-going-on-forever book was publishable as it was. Perhaps I made too […]


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