Wednesday, September 30, 2009
by Marielle Carlisle
Look mom, no hands!
That about sums up what I feel like this morning.
This last weekend I attended a writing conference, my first ever.
It was great. We learned about the ins and outs of the children's book market and publishing world. I got to hear from editors and agents from all sorts of publishing houses and agencies. It was quite informative. Plus, all the non-solicited publishing houses in attendance will allow us to send in a manuscript within the next 90 days.
I also opted to have my manuscript critiqued.
I was assigned to B.G. Hennessy. She is a fabulous lady, who used to be the art director for Vicking Publishing, but now writes children's picture book. She's been on both ends of the spectrum.
She had some fantastic suggestions for my picture book. You need more enthusiasm, kids don't want to see their moms cry, having a photograph as a picture limits the artisit are just some of the comments, and they were all insightful. She said she did like the premise of my story, which helped me look past all the red marks on my paper.
But now that I'm at home, sitting at my computer, I finally understand the workload that is now before me with the edits.
Is this what you published writers feel like when your editor sends back your stories with all the rewrites? Wow, it's ... wow.
I'll have to completely rewrite the story. There'll be some things I can copy and paste, but most of it will be brand new. I've only got 90 days!
A piece of me just wants to bag the story. Too much work. I've looked at this story HUNDREDS of times. I just want to throw up thinking about it (which the publishers said is a good thing; that means you're really grooming and developing your story).
Spewing chunks aside, I feel this is a crossroads. If I walk away, I'll lose out on an important learning opportunity. I will persist.
I'll make sure to keep the throw up bucket close by.