Just over a month ago I signed with an agent. Me. Agent. Sunshine and rainbows, unicorns frolicking, birds and mice doing my laundry. You get the picture.
I’ve spent most of the last month processing everything that’s happened already this year. I knew 24 would be a big year, but this is BIG. I guess you could say I’m still adjusting my personal narrative. Most of you are writers, so you’ll understand that although you keep working and submitting, sometimes it starts to feel like this will never happen for you. And then it does.
Of course, this doesn’t mean I’ll get published. But people believe in me and my book. They’ve invested time in me. And one has put her commitment to my career on paper and added a pretty signature. It means a lot.
As well as staring off into space with a goofy grin on my face, I’ve jumped into revisions with my agent. (CAN YOU BELIEVE I JUST SAID “MY AGENT”???) This is the cool part. I’ve been given some fantastic notes, I don’t have a deadline, and I have the faith of an agency behind me. I’m digging deep and I’m determined to produce the best bit of writing I’ve ever done. My book is good. It’s going to be great.
Revising for me isn’t butt-in-chair work. It’s thinking work. I spend a great deal of time rearranging the story in my head before I ever put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). While brainstorming, I’ve found a few resources that have really helped me. Maybe they’ll help you, too.
Chuck Wendig gives a list of 25 things that should be in a first chapter. Beginnings are hard, man.
Carrie Ryan details a plot structure chart given to her by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I love this one because it breaks the story down into manageable chunks. I’m not a plotter, but I can plot one chunk at a time.
Susan Dennard explains how she revises in a series of 6 lessons. My favourite part is where she advises you write a letter to yourself detailing the perfect book — how you want your book to look at the end of the revising process. If you don’t have a goal, if you can’t picture that book perfectly in your mind, how are you ever going to get there?
So. That’s my March. How has yours been going?