Type A person that I am, I’ve outlined the weeks ahead of me before my first self-imposed deadline. Seven weeks from now I will be attending my first writer’s retreat where I’ll spend three days with 16 other aspiring authors. While I’m excited to meet others working through the same writing struggles and share in a “Novel Therapy” session, I am also nervous that I won’t be able to succinctly present my novel idea, and that the outline and my work completed to date will fall flat. I need some help.
I have already turned to several books to research the opening chapters of Eliza’s story. I have enlisted the help of a friend for her professional expertise for a specific scene. I have fielded a survey among young women to gather ideas for some opening scenes. I am at 39 pages and the start of Chapter 4. For the Retreat, I need to bring a 5 page excerpt as an example of my prose style. Which 5 pages are the strongest depiction of the story? Which ones will serve me best to capture the attention of the representative from a major publishing house that will be attending? First impressions are the most lasting. I hope to gain his attention and get on his radar for when I’m ready to submit a query letter out to publishers.
If you would like to critique my opening chapters and help me identify the 5 best pages to date, I would LOVE the help. Here’s my anticipated schedule:
MAY 20: Complete the first draft of opening chapters getting my characters to a logical conclusion for this section of the book
MAY 21: Send the chapters out to “critique partners” (this could be you!). I’ll include an outline of questions to answer and direct your reading and feedback.
JUNE 8: Request the return from critique partners with their notes and identification of the best 5 pages (2.5 weeks to read and critique approximately 50 pages max). During this time, I will be completing my other assignments for the Retreat.
JUNE 8 – 19: Consolidate comments, further editing, identify the 5 best pages. Make copies.
JUNE 22-25: Retreat. And the first unveiling of Eliza’s story to a possible publisher.
Who’s in? Just get in touch if you can help me knowing I’ll be offering up a 2.5 week turn-around window. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!!!!