Tuesday, January 27, 2015

She's Back!

My enthusiasm came back! She's sitting on my shoulder, with that lovely silky fur snuggled up against my neck. On Sunday morning I read in Writer's News about a competition for page-turning novels run by a writers' agency. Unlike most such competitions, they were prepared to look at "almost complete drafts" as well as finished ones. And I have an almost complete draft of a whodunnit set in the observatory. I've been wanting to finish it for ages, but it's taken a back seat while I did the two books with local government support. So I got it out and looked it over, and (OK, I'm obviously biased, but) I think it counts as a page turner. Of course there was a catch. Entries had to be in "by the 26th of January". I wasn't sure whether that meant midnight Sunday or midnight Monday, so I decided to do what I could an enter by midnight Sunday. I started a mad rush to write the CV and covering letter and polish up my novel to make it at least clear what I plan to put in the gaps. I managed to sort out a glaring continuity errors as well. And my wonderful enthusiasm came back! She does love fiction and short-term deadlines. Before I knew it, it was 1 am. Oops. Well, I'd missed one deadline, right? I just had to hope that they meant Monday night. I went to bed and me and my enthusiasm got back into it in the morning. We fixed another continuity error, and spellchecked and did the synopsis. I finally submitted it at 11:30 pm on Monday. Best case is that I win the prize (£1,000 and they take me on as a writer. The previous winner did very well indeed.) Obviously that would be fantastic, but I'm sure there are lots of good entries and a few excellent ones. Second best case is that I don't win the priize, but they take me on anyway. That would be fantastic too. Worst case is that I don't even make the short list. But even then, I'm a good step further on with the novel. I must go and get my enthusiasm the fresh mango that I promised. She's definitely earned some.


Patsy said...

Judging from the section I read, your biased opinion is accurate!

It's a great prize so they'll be lots of entries, but as you say even if you get no further than the acknowledgement of your entry, you're ahead of where you were just a few days ago.

Jan Baynham said...

So glad your enthusiasm is back, Sheila, and good luck in the competition.