Tag Archives: redrafting

the Resubmission

The way I’m saying that in my head is like the sinister title of a psychological thriller…

no but seriously.

I have been doing a lot of work re-imagining/re-inventing/re-creating my novel, and the direction I took with the redraft is largely due to Susannah Taylor’s rejection letter (see here for the whole story).

I saw on a loop today that she’s actively seeking submissions, so I put the question to Valerie/fairygodmother: are my first few chapters ready for a re-query?

She said go for it.

So here go my heart and nerves again. I don’t think there’s another huge overhaul of this book in my future, so this is sort of it.

It’s scary and it’s a feeling like I’m alive and forging ahead.

premature submissions

I wrote this post in my dream last night and woke up to another rejection letter, so its time has most definitely arrived.

I finished my first romance manuscript at the beginning of this year – and this is the ms that won me the Valerie Parv Award, so I wasn’t insane thinking it had some potential. I let it sit for a negligible amount of time, then got stuck into rewrites and editing.

I killed many a darling, including a secondary character and her whole plot arc, which made me feel good about my revisions. Surely I was cutting away all the fat.

I got to a second, third draft. I spat and polished – metaphorically, of course, otherwise that would just be gross.

Then I sent a query to many agents. My query worked – only one agent so far hasn’t requested a partial. My partial evidently doesn’t work.

And now that I’m discovering what’s really there in my novel, I understand why. I’m even grateful for it.

There were a couple of reasons I started sending the ms out. One was that it sincerely felt like I had taken it as far as I could on my own. Another was that I was sick of having the same conversation over and over with authors or other people who wanted to make it too, or reading the same advice on blogs. It seemed to me that the only way to change the conversation was to have some new experience to talk about.

(I still kind of agree with that reason.)

Also, like many other aspiring writers, I’m a bit impatient. This is not the business for impatience…

So here’s some advice straight from the mouth of experience: When you’re ready to send your manuscript off, it may not be ready. I honestly have no idea how to tell when you’re ready, because like I said, I thought I was.

Maybe the best you can do is put the “ready” ms away for a period of time, then take it out again with fresh eyes.

Then again – all this being said, the critique that really opened my eyes to my novel’s potential came in a rejection letter from an agent.

Go figure.

fairy godmothers are the best

I promised I would keep you updated re VP’s feedback on my re-drafted first chapter, and boy am I happy to do so!

As always, am not sure how much of other people’s letters I can post here, but let’s just say it contained the phrases “to me, what you’ve done is wonderful. The depth and complexity of the characters in this brief glimpse is impressive.” and “You’ve definitely transcended farce and moved the story to a whole new level, frankly unlike anything I’ve read before.”


I have been struggling quite a lot recently with a huge case of self-doubt – no doubt to do with the huge re-writes/breaking apart what I had to try and make something better from the pieces.

This comes at just the right time and makes me realise more than ever how incredible this mentorship is.

hey, I still would have shared if the feedback wasn’t so good, but this is so much sweeter.


just sent Valerie Parv/fairygodmother the new draft of my first chapter and I am…nervous.

Redrafting and re-imagining something that you’ve already written is not easy. And it brings the risk factor in all over again. Some of the things I’ve had to deal with:

1. My hero is a charming rascal, but I had some feedback that made sense to me that he’s a little bit too farcical, i.e. he doesn’t allow room for an emotional journey. I’ve re-imagined him so that his charm is more obvious as a kind of defence mechanism/character flaw to hide his awful loneliness.

Given all the angsty alphas I’ve been reading lately I may have just – ever so slightly – overwritten him in the other direction.

2. Am I actually writing a completely different story? Have I lost everything that made that character what he was? This is really tricky, because he looks the same, is called the same, is being thrown into the same circumstance, but…

I imagine all writers face this when they work on manuscripts over long periods of time, because what you’re interested by changes over time, too.

3. Somewhere along the way I’ve lost contact with my “voice”. I feel like I’ve been improving so much as a writer and learning my craft/the industry. But I realised during this redrafting process that I was writing according to what makes a good scene and according to different feedback I was getting.

I took a deep breath and attempted to get back to what I love about romance novels and romantic heroes and write that. Save the rest for second-drafting. This makes it all the more terrifying to let someone else see it, because it feels raw.

Lucky for me, VP is the best mentor in the world, and I’m sure she will say whatever she has to say with great tact and encouragement, as always.

Will keep you posted.