13 Drafts?!


So you maaay have noticed I’ve been AWOL for the last two weeks? I’ve been working hard on my editorial notes these last few weeks. I’ve been tip-toeing towards finally having this manuscript ready to fly the nest and go on submission. I thought it would be interesting — hopefully? — to have a look back at how it has evolved over the last three years.

So my lovely creepy YA thriller — known on this blog as BT — was born on the number 10 bus when I saw an odd yellow door whizz by. That was at the beginning of 2014. I wrote a blog about BT’s origins here.

objectivity featured

The first — and horrendously flawed — draft happened quite quickly, in maybe three months. I’d come off a long and arduous string of R&R’s for another agent for another project. I wanted this new manuscript to be a break from all that plotting and re-working: a nice, easy story that I could get out to agents after a few months’ work. HA!
Yeah… that did *not* happen. Not even slightly.

But nothing in life worth having comes easy.

I’ve had a look back at my drafts, and as of now BT has gone through 13 drafts to get to its current state. THIRTEEN DRAFTS! And while some were smaller edits, a larger portion were huge edits — I’ve re-written over 50% of this manuscript not once but twice in the last two years!

If you’re a writer, don’t worry, this isn’t the norm.

BT is now on the fine edge of YA cross-over fiction, but it began its life waaaayyyy over that edge. It took some wrangling to get the story back into the realms of YA. It’s been a lot of work — so much work, in fact, I’d imagine a lot of agents would have given up on it all together — but both my (wonderful, patient, talented!) agent and myself thought there was something worth saving; something solid and maybe-just-brilliant hidden in the story, if we could only hook it out.

So we worked, and we worked, and I think we’ve finally managed it. Looking back and seeing how much BT has improved and evolved is so gratifying to see.

All I ever wanted as a writer was a chance. A chance to show my best work to the right people, and then let fate decide. I can honestly say that, against all odds, BT is as ready as it is ever going to be for the next step. It’s the culmination of the best work of my life. So whatever happens going forward, I know I’ve done the best I can do.

Time to roll the dice. Here’s praying for lucky number 13.