This update is a few months coming, so I’ll keep it brief but comprehensive.
Crossing the finish line!
I’ve declared my young adult novel, working title The Space Between, done.
I went through three rounds of feedback from 2 – 3 readers each time, and subsequent revisions. I made some really big changes – getting rid of some characters and re-thinking others, tying up loose ends and trying to make everything watertight. I got rid of sub-plots that were hanging in the breeze and really focused the story.
I changed the main character’s name from Erica to Erin – which feels more correct to me.
Overall, I’m happy with the result.
I’m now in the process of pitching my MS, sending it out, entering it into competitions, waving it around wherever and whenever I can. Unlike the US, some of the larger publishers in Australia do have processes for accepting unsolicited manuscripts, so an agent isn’t absolutely essential, but still definitely advantageous.
Last week I received my first actual rejection letter, from a big literary agency here in Australia. So I guess that’s a milestone!
I’m leaving the manuscript alone for the moment, but toying with changing the title.
I’ve always felt The Space Between was a bit too abstract, though it has stuck for a number of years. It refers to the space between what we know about the people we love and who they really are, as well as to the space between someone going missing, and someone being gone.
Other title options I’m considering are:
Take me under
Any and all opinions on these are welcome! Let me know your preference in the comments below 🙂
Since finishing The Space Between I’ve jumped straight into working on a new YA novel, with the working title The A to Z of how to survive absolutely everything
I’m 80 pages in now, and really enjoying the change of pace and setting, having a bunch of new characters to get to know, and a brand new story to tell.
Also, there’s a really awesome dog in it called Zelda! I love stories with dogs (my earliest memory of writing was a very short story about a sheepdog called Tattie when I was about five), but this is my first attempt as an adult at having an animal as a leading character.
I’m writing 700 – 1500 words a day and trying to keep it moving forwards. I don’t have a detailed plan, though I have a clear-ish sense of where it’s all heading. I am only occasionally having that terrified, what the hell is meant to happen next feeling that is so particular to a first draft.
I know there are some problems, particularly with the structure, but it’s a first draft! It’s nothing that can’t be fixed in 5 – 10 re-writes (as I try to remind myself cheerfully!)
Onwards and upwards!