Another round of revisions

This week has been mostly an “up” week, thankfully. I did get an agent rejection on Saturday, a rather bland “did not quite ‘click’ with us” letter, but owing to progress on other fronts, I’m not in a tearing hurry to get an agent right now.

The progress in question is that after a month of batting emails back and forth, discussing possible changes to the book, I got an reply from the publisher saying they want to see the full manuscript – yay! Even better, they want synopses for the first book and a sequel, to form the basis of a possible two-book deal.

On the one hand this is fabulous news, because I can finally forge ahead with all the ideas that have been brewing for the past month. It’s also scary, though, because the pressure is now on to implement those changes in a way that makes the manuscript irresistible. If I do all this work and they still turn it down, I will be gutted. Not because it is wasted work, but because getting this close, especially with the level of enthusiasm and encouragement expressed so far, gives one a certain level of expectation that is perhaps unwarranted.

As for a sequel, I do have something in rough draft, but it will need changing as well to match the first book – and being something of a discovery writer, I’m not certain what those changes will be. Luckily I have access to a free Professional Plotting workshop through Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel course, which I hope will help me build a solid foundation for the sequel.

Finally, I need to come up with a new title that really markets the book. Like most writers I hate trying to title my work, particularly novels. Somehow, my short stories come ready-made with titles; novels, not so much.

I’ve already triaged the revisions and set myself a deadline of the end of December for getting the manuscript finished. The synopses can wait a bit longer if necessary, as they won’t be needed until the publisher has read the book, but obviously I’d like to get everything done ASAP so that we can move the process along.

I foresee a month of manic brainstorming ahead…