Monday, 12 March 2012

The Book of Never Letting Go

by Addy Farmer

So here it is. Finished. For some weird reason, I'm almost ashamed to admit that the manuscript for my 12 plus novel has been 9 years in the making and began taking shape soon after my youngest was born. However, before you decide that I must have been carving it out a word at a time, I would point out that, no, I hadn't been working on it the whole time.

I would have exploded after three years give or take.

I did manage to write other stuff and even get stuff published but the kernal of this particular story always stayed with me. So, in the interests of my sanity I thought I'd take you on a condensed journey and maybe follow it as it trundles on its way to publication and massive acclaim or... not.

At the beginning I got a great crit In Public from an editor from Penguin.
  
Who cares! I've learned to enjoy giving and receiving crit!
Then in the middle I had an exciting squeal-worthy thumbs up from Chicken House...


...before it was turned down.




I still hung on in there because I loved it and a little while later I found Cornerstones. I've been working with the wonderful Kathyrn Robinson for about two years now. Again, NOT all the time because she does have other things to do apparently. The ms had been back and forth three times before the time came to send it out for what felt like a final letting go.

Sometimes it's easier to travel in hope than to arrive
 
Tricky.  Doubt crept in accompanied by worry and yet more doubt. It wouldn't be good enough - all my love and all that support and all that work, just wouldn't be enough. I didn't want to let this story go without a struggle. It was easier to keep it and look at it again and again and again because writing, 'The End' felt a bit too final. There was always time for just one last look...



The basics - is that story arc working? The End. Well, I like the way it starts, nice and punchy with that big 'T'. It's firm, it's manly and it stomps into the beginning. The 'h', I'm not so sure about. It's wibbles about after that strong beginning and then there's the disaster of the repititious 'e'. Then it ginds to a massive halt until... oh my Lord where did that capital 'E' come from? E! All my rising tension gone! Then jumping down to that teeny rubbish, 'n' that's meant to herald the climax which it doesn't by the way. Then the 'd' which I like.

So perhaps something like this...

Tenehd


Okay, maybe one more teensy look. Yep, thought so, it's too boring now, it's predictable. That ending, there's no real twist. If I just do this...

Tenedh

Is that beginning right for the end now? There's no reflection of my unpredictable ending now in the beginning. So maybe if I just do this...

tenedh

Oh but now it's all the same! I've flattened everything. I'll just...

tenedh

It's too long...

ten

too short...

tenedhnedet

too boring...

tenedhnedet

Waaaa. Calm down.
Do I love this story? Do I love my characters? Is it the best I can possibly make it? Yes. It's in the hands of someone I trust and now I will wait (and do other stuff).  

The End.

35 comments :

  1. Am laughing so much Addy!Firstly - CONGRATULATIONS on getting it writ and good luck with it, secondly, YES I KNOW, I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW!!! I wish their was a type script where all the letters had been thrown in the air then trampled on, that's where my TehndE is at the moment ;o) Thank you x

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  2. You missed out

    Theeeeeeee
    Ennnnnnnnnnnd!
    Whoo hoo!

    Thanks for the laugh and nine years isn't all that long. Some books like to emerge slowly.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, M. I'm hoping to cut it down to 7 years for the next one

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  3. I love the popping balloon! This is really funny. I think some ideas just need their time to mature. I keep telling myself that those are the best - we'll see! (I've got one hanging around too).

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  4. Awww What a wonderful piece and I have a feeling we all get this! Well done ... keep going ... keep going!

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  5. Great post - and a lesson in perseverance for us all.

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  6. Awww What a wonderful piece and I have a feeling we all get this! Well done ... keep going ... keep going!

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  7. Actually, I rather liked the colourful one near the end. Calming down is over-rated:)

    Good luck with it!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Thomas! I've picked out who will star in the film

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  8. Great post and good luck with the novel! I'm a long way from the end in my own novel but I'm already choosing colours and fonts.

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    Replies
    1. cheers, Sue. Colours and fonts, I'm good at should you ever need a second opinion

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  9. Go Addy, go Addy! This is fantastic. I'm SO excited for you and keeping everything crossed. I think Anne Michaels' books generally take about that long. Absolutely nothing to feel ashamed of. Looking forward to celebrating the beginning of the next part of its journey with you soon.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Clare! And thanks to you for looking at it as well... see you soon.

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  10. I know EXACTLY how you feel! My fingers always get a bit shaky when I write The End, I don't think I could cope with any more than that.

    Good luck and I can't wait to hear the rest!

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  11. Best of luck, Addy! Just think of all the possibilities...

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    Replies
    1. No more possibilities! It'll add another 2 years!x

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  12. so funny, and so true! Sending something out when you know it is the best you can make it is absolutely freaking TERRIFYING.
    All my fingers and toes are crossed for you - which makes typing very difficult (I'm using my nose)

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    Replies
    1. You have a truely talented nose, Teri but please untie yourself so that you can finish your next best seller this morning - me, jealous of your prodigious work rate?? yes. x

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  13. Congratulations on being brave enough to let it go! Hoping hard for a happy tenehd-ing ...

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  14. Oh well done - on staying with it, finishing it and letting it go. Your post is timely for me - I've just finished the book I've been working on alongside all my other writing for nearly 20 years - it's as good as it can be, I love it, I'm proud of it... but I haven't quite managed yet to brace myself for sending it out into the world.

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  15. Whoop! Some of 'us' (not that I'm pointing any fingers at me) just never seem to write THE END! Well
    Done. I'm sure it's finding it's home as we speak...good luck. :)

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  16. Hi Addy. We could have been writing buddies! I've been taking exactly the same journey except that mine's taken even longer - so long that I'm ashamed to type the number. We could have at least waved to each other along the way!
    I've also done other stuff - some even got published, but this one particular novel has kept pulling me back to to one last, final, edit. The m/s has had several critiques with comments ranging from 'no' through 'maybe' to 'definitely' and everything inbetween but there's always been one last itch to scratch with it.
    Anyway, like you, I've finally finished - at least for now!
    Wishing you success.
    Lois

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lois - waving! Success right back at you!

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