Originally published on my previous blog on 29.07.2018
I’m finally settling into the idea of having an agent. It’s mad and it’s amazing and I can’t believe it’s happened to me. I sent my first rewrite using Steph and her team’s ideas back last week and now I’m on tenterhooks hoping they like the changes I’ve made (and hoping they’re not too mad at me for getting it back so quickly—they can probably tell I’m a bit desperate to get this book done!).
I’ve started working on a new manuscript to keep myself busy, and in a way that’s probably typical of all writers I’ve got way too invested way too quickly, and now have 15,000 words. It’s very weird, involves a cult, and I’m a little bit in love with my main character.
This is a new experience for me. Usually, my main characters come to me fully-formed and resentful, like the stereotypical teenage foster child. They have their own lives, their own wants, and their relationship with me is lukewarm at best. They’ve always been very independent, and I’ve felt like a tentative new parent making timorous suggestions—okay, I see you like doing that this way, may I suggest we try it this way? No? Okay. Okay that’s fine. Your way it is.
With this new character though, I just want to wrap her in a blanket and tell her she’s going to be okay. I’m spending a lot of time wondering why this is.
I think it’s probably to do with her voice most of all, which has been a bit of a struggle. I mean, I’ve got it down, and I love it. It’s consistent and (I hope) individual. The problem is that it’s so young. There are good reasons for it being so young, but really her internal monologue is more 12-year-old than a solid, fully-formed 16. I’m worried about this, but also I love her, so it’s going to stay.
It’s also weird coming at this from a “second book” perspective. Before Cliff Edge, I’d never finished a story in my life. Now I’ve written that one twice. I feel at once braver and more afraid coming at this new manuscript. Braver because I’ve done it once and I can do it again, and more afraid precisely because I’ve done it once, and doing it once creates all sorts of strange expectations, and I don’t know what to do about them.
I guess I’m going to do what I always do: just keep writing. Keep writing, get bored, get distracted, toy with a new idea, put it down in a huff, come back to Ivy and her story.
And then probably go back and rewrite Cliff Edge again, because it’s just never quite right, is it?!