Friday, 9 November 2012

Just call me Mrs Talented

I know this blog is a long time coming, but I have come to discover that my written communication skills are much the same as my verbal, that is…if I have nothing to say I say nothing.  However, now I have something to say about my journey towards getting my first YA book published.

You may recall that I had sent my manuscript off to a Manuscript Assessor (MA) and was preparing for a long, anxious and as it turns out unproductive wait.  Long – two months. Unproductive – well let’s just say I found it very hard to concentrate on anything while my first born was in the hands of a professional. Anyway, my time is up and my manuscript appraisal has been delivered to me as promised and on time.
When I sent my manuscript off I was a bit concerned about whether or not I would be getting value for my money; well I did, and then some. My MA sent me an extensive 15 page assessment of my work and detailed comments, instructions and suggestions notated throughout my entire manuscript; and not just froth and bubble, what I received from my MA was solid, substantial feedback.  
So, I guess you’re wondering what the verdict was?  OK, here I go.  Let me start offering a quote from the email sent to me from my MA. "This book has the young, edgy YA appeal that many of the big publishers are looking for.  Don’t get too excited. She also wrote that I should not be daunted by the inordinate amount of editing I have in front of me in order to get my manuscript to a point where it is ready to be presented to the publishers.  

I have to say that my determination to see my work through to publication has not faltered since my journey began; but encouraging feedback from a professional is so motivating, it’s like music to my ears.
My MA made comments such as;

“…you’ve created a vivid, exciting story that’s well worth editing.” and

“…it was a solid action-packed chapter, well done.” and my personal favourite,

“…and of course the most important thing is you’ve got talent.”


Perhaps boosting my motivation is not what has really happened here; perhaps it’s my confidence that has been bolstered and the hounds of doubt, which had been snapping at my heels, have been sent packing.
 Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of negatives in my manuscript assessment as well as the many reassurances, I need to spruce up a couple of my characters, and tidy up my editing issues of which there are many, but…I have a way forward and am eager to get back to work. One thing is certain though…if you are into instant gratification, then writing is not the game for you so give it up now, because if you are serious you have to be in it for the long haul.

So this part of my journey has all been about using a professional manuscript assessor and I must say that in this case I have taken steps in the right direction. My MA has proven to be highly professional, highly valuable and a source of genuine encouragement. I have no qualms in saying that my money was well spent and I can now see a glimmer of light at the end of this very long tunnel.

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