Silver linings

Oh, dear.

As planned, I paid for a professional review of my agent submission pack (letter, synopsis and first two chapters). The report was mildly complimentary but ultimately inconclusive so I bit the bullet and ordered an editorial review of the complete MS of The White Lady. That was just over a month ago.dark clouds

I received the report two days ago, halfway through England’s World Cup semi-final match (I know! What on earth was I doing checking emails?!) and of course I read it immediately, very quickly. I couldn’t resist. It was long, forensically detailed and very, very critical of many aspects of plot and character development and motivation. I had anticipated a tough report but it was far worse than I had expected. I was deeply disappointed and utterly demoralised.

And then England lost to Croatia.

It’s taken me two days to get back on my feet. The first 24 hours I veered between denial (it’s only one person’s opinion!), anger (she just doesn’t get me!) and sadness. I was kept afloat by friends old and new and by reading a kind and very practical post on Andrew Wille’s blog.

It was Andrew who suggested I try to identify the “gifts” presented by the report. At first I laughed a hollow, bitter laugh but then, early this morning in the gym, I had a glimmer of insight and things started to fall into place. Here (in the interests of the devastating honestly that is the hallmark of this blog) are my first three gifts:

  • This report has given me a reality check; an opportunity to stop me making a t*** of myself in public and a second chance to write something less over-heated and self-indulgent.
  • This report has validated my own instinct – and, yes, the opinion of some of my readers – that something was not quite right with certain aspects of the book.
  • This report has given me a timely nudge to be more flexible in my thinking; permission to let the mental discipline slip, throw away the writing schedule and send my story into free-fall.


About Hannah

Author of literary historical fiction set in the First World War. Revising my first book, writing the next, seeking representation. Mountaineer, gardener, traveller, off-road runner. Africa, modern history, coffee, roses, films, book and unrealistic romance. NHS midwife in a former life.
This entry was posted in Getting published, Revising and Editing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Silver linings

  1. Pingback: Becoming a writer | Mountain Hares & Moonlit Roses

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