OK. Despite the title, this blog is not going to be a moan. The hair-shirt kind. Oh woe is me. Why do I not have a rocking book deal yet , blah blah.
This is not even a blog about my height (though I admit it– only 5ft 4” in my flats. Same height as the Queen, in case you’re interested).
We are , in fact, back to word counts ( see earlier blog).
I have just received some very nice feedback from a respected women’s fiction editor with Penguin. OK – so it was a rejection. Technically. But it wasn’t one of those – go away and never darken our door . It wasn’t – “not right for our list”. It wasn’t
- “you’re rubbish” and it wasn’t that old favourite - “ I just didn’t love it enough”.
This response said some v nice stuff… “dynamite premise”. She liked the voice and the story apparently has a great deal going for it ( phew!). And the little but? The manuscript for this novel has apparently come up a bit short… Oops! With all my editing of chapters in and out, seems I have edited a wee bit too much.
The best bit is this editor took the trouble to give some really helpful direction to get the MS back on track which in a busy schedule, I really value.
I guess, given that my forte just now is selling short stories ( thankfully going great guns), I should not be surprised. I am very used to tight plotting and packing big stories into tight corners. Switching between the disciplines takes practice and as all freelance writers know, we tend to be juggling many different projects at once so memo to self is to watch those word counts on my longer MS.
Not that I am downhearted. For a prolific writer like moi, what’s a few thousand words more? So it’s back to the chapter plan (yup; if my agent is reading this, I even do smart “chapter plans” on Excel spread sheets these days) and the jolly ol’ word count button.
Which is why you must forgive the short update this week on account I have bulking up to do ( and I don’t mean
yours truly on the cupcakes, more's the pity). Also I need to file a couple of short stories to keep the income stream happy.
Wish me luck!
PS If anyone reading this has signed up for my short story workshop, I look forward to meeting you very soon. Lots of lovely tips to share from the commissioning editors I work with regularly.
Teresa Driscoll - journalist, author, mother of two and lover of great coffee.