Thursday, 9 April 2015

Plot changes and Editing

Having very nearly given up on Alex Frost, I decided on one (or two) last hurrah!'s.

#PitchSlam and #NestPitch - two contests that I thought would be a great opportunity to have one last go on getting noticed and before shelving the project. #PitchSlam was the first catalyst, two more were to follow.

The first phase of #PitchSlam is a critique on a 35-word pitch, provided by 6 of the judges of the competition. The feedback was constructive and led me to rethink a few things. This in turn made me realise something, the structure of the book was such that explaining the plot in few words always confused the reader.

I needed change. I liaised with a couple of my Critique Partners who agreed that the changes seemed positive for the manuscript. I was left with a conundrum: do i start improving the script and pull out of the two competitions or leave it as is and try my luck.

I knew the story needed some fixing up, so I decided to press on with changes and pull out of the competitions.

Changes were written and reviewed and, again, feedback was positive. And then catalysts numbered two and three arrived.

I received glowing feedback from a beta-reader in my target audience (9+ year old readers). After all the rejections, critiques, discussions, negative thoughts, the level of response from a reader in my target bracket brought everything in crystal clarity. This is the person whose imagination I am trying to capture. Who i am trying to bring the joy of reading back into their lives - away from computers, iPads, TV and countless other distractions.

And then, moments later, further strong positive feedback from a beta-reader who has just got through my initial revamp - pre-most recent changes.

Spurred on, I decided that I needed to finish the re-write and get some professional help. In steps freelance editor and literary agent Jessica Schmeidler (The Write Shadow).  Jessica will be working with me on an initial manuscript review to help me polish this story until it more than shines. I will post some more info on my experience with the review process and (if I push on) the editing phase too.

Onwards and Upwards!