That scary moment…

…when you give your manuscript to others to read. Eek! It feels something akin to going out in public with no clothes on. It’s a terrifying prospect but a necessary step towards the ultimate goal. (Thankfully, no nakedness actually required.)

After a sporadic December, January turned out to be a productive month and I completed the eleventh draft of the first book in my historical fiction series less than half way into February. Yes, draft number eleven. I first put pen to paper (luminous orange ink in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer notebook) on this story back in distant 2002 and that’s how many makeovers it has gone through since then. Somehow I have managed not to grow weary of it yet! That’s not to say that it hasn’t been a struggle, although the closer I’ve gotten to the finish line, the easier it has been to keep going, and in recent times this magnet on my fridge has kept pushing me on too:

Easy reading is damn hard writing

Having made the final alteration to the text (a minor switch of the word ‘exhaustion’ to ‘fatigue’ if you’re interested), I now need a fresh pair of eyes. I can no longer see its virtues from its evils after spending so much time immersed in it. A second opinion is definitely in order. Well, I’ve decided to go a bit further than that and solicit third, fourth and fifth opinions too. Rather than throw it into shark-infested waters, however, I have dipped it into a gentler pool consisting of my mammy, my hubby, and two of my closest friends. Two of these fall into my target demographic and two do not so they are a balanced group. I expect them to be honest with their feedback but at least I can trust them to let me down kindly if it comes to that.

So today I shall abide by this great piece of advice (questions over its accreditation may be found here):

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Click send and job done!

5 thoughts on “That scary moment…

  1. Ben says:

    Congratulations on getting to the next stage! It’s a big step. I think I’m on draft 10 of a book I’ve been working on on-and-off since 2007. It’s in the drawer for now while I finish my MA, so it’ll probably be a complete re-write when I return. Good luck with it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susie Murphy says:

      Thanks, Ben! Sometimes leaving your book in a drawer for a while is a good thing – when you take it back out, you can read it with such fresh eyes that it’s almost like someone else wrote it. The best of luck with your MA and with the future re-write!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Grace Hennessy says:

    Wow, 11 drafts!! I hadn’t realised it was that many, though of course I know you’ve been working really hard on it for years. Congratulations on getting it finished!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susie Murphy says:

      Thanks a mill, Gracie! Not all those drafts were as intensive as the most recent one but they were always a step forwards in one form or another. It does feel good to have this newest version under my belt. 🙂


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