Friday, February 26, 2016

When You Can't See The Trees for The Forest

I've been working on The Clover Key forever. At least, it feels like forever. Yeah, maybe it is forever.

I began writing TCK back in 2008. Can you imagine working on a novel for that long? I lived with those characters for eight years. Eight years! Fleshing out their emotions and actions, pulling the story out of them. At one point, I even started to hate them.

I lost count on how many rewrites this novel went through. When I thought it was ready, I sent it out to beta readers and then took their thoughts into consideration. And then rewrote it again. I also lost count on how many rounds of agent queries it went through. I never received any requests. None of the agents gave me feedback. The only thing I could think was that the novel was horrible.

And so, I shelved it. I figured TCK was going to be one of those first novels that never get published, and I started to believe that maybe it shouldn't be published.

But then last year, I opened that file again. I read through the manuscript and found I just couldn't give up on it. Not yet. I did another read through, tweaked it a little more, and began the query process all over again.

This time, I got feedback from agents. They liked the story, but couldn't get excited about it. So, I stopped querying and decided to bite the bullet and hire an editor.

What better editor than Kelly Hashway? Not only is she a fellow graduate of ICL, but she also has several published YA and NA books, AND she's my daughter's former Middle School English teacher. Small world, huh? Buy her books. She's an awesome writer.

In two weeks, she returned my manuscript with valuable input. I'd been doing stupid things that I KNEW I shouldn't have done. So many of her suggestions were obvious, but I never caught them. Why?

I was so involved in the story, but I couldn't see the WORDS. I couldn't see the individual sentences. I couldn't see the problems.

Now, my eyes can SEE the problems. Kelly was nice enough to point them out (in bright red print.)

I'm excited to get back to work on this novel. Will it ever get published? Maybe. Maybe not. But I won't rest until I know that I've done all I can.

Thanks, Kelly!

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