Halfway Through and Loose Ends

I’ve been very neglectful here recently, at blogging, at checking in for ROW80 and, I’ll admit, at writing, too.

Yesterday was the summer solstice; the nights are now officially drawing in. We’re halfway through the solar year, and it seems to me that this is the perfect time to renew ambitions, look at what I want to achieve between now and December 21st, when I will officially take a break until the New Year. It’s also the perfect time to reflect on what I’ve achieved so far this year.

Sea Fever Revise and Resubmit

When I began this blog, I was working on a R&R for an agent. It was a huge amount of work, but the resulting book was so much better than I’d imagined it could be. Unfortunately, the agent didn’t think so… I just heard back yesterday that, while the writing was good, and the right ingredients were there, it just didn’t quite work for her. A near miss.

So, the first thing on my list of things to do for the second half of the year:

  • Submit Sea Fever to other agents and/or publishers.

Room for Love and An A to Z of Love

These books… I still love them. I’ve submitted them to a number of places this year, and the feedback has always been the same – good writing, but too quiet a story. Too British, too, which isn’t that surprising… I’m putting these down to experience for now. I learnt a lot writing, revising and submitting them, so it’s not like I wasted my time. But I’m not planning to do anything else with them, for now.

I’ve started, so I’ll finish…

I don’t think I’m unusual in having a file full of unfinished works. And some of them, I know, are far better left that way. But some of them got put aside because I had to work on something else – like a revise and resubmit – and I never quite got back to them. Some of them have real potential. Some of them, I really want to write.

One of these, Breaking the Spell, I’ve already picked up again. I had the first 50,000 words of this book, edited and worked on with my old agent, and submitted to a limited number of UK editors. It always niggled that it wasn’t finished, so for the second half of May Bootcamp, I wrote the ending. I’m editing the book now, and I still love it. I don’t know if it will ever sell – I’ll probably submit to e-publishers later this year – but I do know I feel better for having tied up this particular loose end.

The others take up slots 2, 3 and 4 on my to do list:

  • Finish first draft of One More Night
  • Finish first draft of The Same Mistake
  • Finish first draft of Tea & Devilry

All of these are fully planned and plotted, and I have between 5,000 and 20,ooo words written on each of them. One is women’s fiction, one category romance and one light paranormal romance. I love each of them, and can’t wait to get stuck in again. I’d love to finish, revise and submit all of them this year, but I’m trying to be realistic. But I do want at least one of them completely off my desk in the next six months.

Short Stuff

Since I got my Kindle, back in April, I’ve been enjoying a lot of shorter fiction; novellas, short stories etc. And my enjoyment of reading them has, unsurprisingly, led me to try my hand at a few myself. The best part about novellas is that, because the time committment is so much less, I feel more free to try out new genres or markets than I would be with a full length book. I’m having a lot of fun with these, and want to write one or two over the rest of the year, just to keep things interesting.

Reading

Another plus of the Kindle is that I’ve been reading a lot more, generally. I feel more in touch with the current market because of it, and have discovered genres and subgenres I never knew existed. I’m a more rounded reader, and writer, because of it. This is definitely something I want to keep going.

Challenges

I’ve taken part in a couple of challenges this year – May Bootcamp at Savvy, and the Round of Words in 80 Days challenge. I don’t feel I’ve been able to give either my best efforts. I’d like to be able to blame real world circumstances, but the truth is there’s always something going on in the real world, trying to get in the way. My team won Bootcamp, although it was very, very close. ROW80 is easier, because I’m only really accountable to myself, but I’ve still slacked off on the reporting in. I think, other than Nano in November, which is a tradition at this point, I’m done for challenges, this year.

First Steps

So, I’m off to Wales tomorrow for the weekend. Next week, the Sea Fever resubmission campaign starts in earnest. Edits on Breaking the Spell continue apace. I’ll hopefully finish the first draft of my current novella. And I’ll be stopping by here to tell you how it’s going.

6 thoughts on “Halfway Through and Loose Ends

  1. alberta ross says:

    you have been busy and acheived a lot – is there a ‘British’ type of writing – maybe that’s my problem also in the selling stakes – interesting thought – however I don’t beleive it – folk all over the reading world enjoy different styles- I’m convinced it’s just a matter of time so keep resubmitting.

    all the best and hope to see you in round3 – enjoy Wales – which part ?

    • Sophie Pembroke says:

      I think you’re right – that people can enjoy reading different styles and settings. It’s just convincing editors of that…

      My stories are very much set in Britain, which might be part of the problem. But I did have one editor in the States tell me that they know it’s much harder to sell an overseas author than a US one, so there’s that.

      Absolutely, the only thing to do is keep submitting. But for now, off to North Wales – Wrexham, actually.

      See you in Round 3!

  2. Lauralynn Elliott says:

    Good luck with all your goals. We all have different goals…I like the business end of publishing, so I’l probably always stay with indie publishing. But for others, the traditional way of publishing is right. Whatever you decide to do with your work, I wish you the best.

    Someone said something was too British? What does that mean exactly? The funny thing is, I’ve been selling more of one of my books in the UK than in the US lately. I’m surprised they don’t think I write too American. LOL

    • Sophie Pembroke says:

      I think perhaps the feeling is – rightly or wrongly – that the UK is more open to American novels, in the same way that we watch more US TV than the other way around. I do think that’s starting to change though, TVwise at least. I’m just hoping that books follow suit…

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