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The Nerve of the Man!!!
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Before you do anything else, I want you to take a look at this article that appeared in The Times on Sunday 4th June.

Go on, toddle off and read it. I won't write anything else until you've clicked the link and read what Gordon Brown has to say about writing off agents' fees against tax.

Ok... read it? Good.

What do you think? I first heard about this over on Kate Hardy's blog and personally I'm disgusted! How on earth does he imagine authors are to manage without the help of agents? He should try writing a book and getting published without an agent. Mind you, he's a name so he may well be accepted directly by a publishing house but, as you all know, such isn't the case for most of us mere mortals.

I just don't get how he can imagine agents are "wholly, exclusively and necessary" for dancers but not for authors. Where on earth did he get his information from?

Evidently the Society of Authors will be following this up, so fingers crossed they'll be able to lobby with enough clout to get Mr Brown to change his misinformed mind.

I've passed 40,000. Funnily enough, it's now become very scary. I've about 15,000 words left in which to wind up the story and I'm not sure I can fit everything in. I know I shouldn't worry because I'll probably have to go back and tighten a lot of previous stuff anyway, probably even delete entire scenes, but even so...

Luckily I've lots of ideas for the next book so once this one's finished I intend to send it off and forget it about it while I get on with manuscript number two. I'm certainly not going to fret over it. If they want it, that's great. If they don't, then life will go on as before. Nobody will have died, and we won't have become homeless. There are worse things in life than having a manuscript rejected.

But before I get to that stage, I still have those final 15,000 words to get through.

Onwards and upwards...

PS: Iona has the centre page spread! I'll scan copies for those who have asked.
Posted by Sharon J on 9:26 AM   

Blogger Debi said...

I've left my fuming on Kate's blog re this. I can't write more on the subject without some colourful cussing.
You're still obsessing about word counts then! Just write! If it turns out longer, there's really no hard and fast rule you're going to be breaking. Anyway, if we're talking first draft here, the end result is bound to be different. You're right - some deletions, but I also find there's some parts that really need expanding. So long as you get a minimum word count (approx 60,000 usually) don't allow yourself to be too constricted by imagined boundaries.
My advice would be to get this one the Best You Possibly Can before sending it out. Once it's been out there and (possibly) rejected it's well nigh impossible to resend it with changes.
It's great that your creativity is bubbling and that you already can't wait to start the next one, but don't let this one go until she's ready!

11:44 AM   

Anonymous Sharon J said...

If only the boundaries were imagined, Debi. Alas, with HMB, the word count is very specific and the Tender line must be between 50,000-55,000, therefore the 'obsessing'. I'm lucky to have a mentor in Penny Jordan who's written over 160 books for them so if anybody knows what they're talking about when it comes to HMB, I'm sure it's her.

Another point is that I don't actually expect this one to be accepted. It isn't quite right for the line but I don't love it enough to want to work on it as much as I'd need to in order to bring it in. It started life as a 'Presents' y'see, and changed it's path about half way through (which meant lots of re-writing but still...) So I've decided to send it off once I'm happy that the writing's good enough (after all, even if they don't accept it in the line, I want them to see that I can write well). And because it was written specifically for HMB, it won't ever be submitted anywhere else in its present form so that isn't a concern either.

To be honest, I'll just be pleased to have finished one. I've probably written at least 50 part manuscripts in my time, but they're generally disgarded at the 60-75% stage. This one's a bit of a milestone for me.

12:04 PM   

Blogger Debi said...

Point taken. And I hadn't realised the specifics re the word count.
In that case I shamelessly take everything back. Just finish this one so you can sit back and say 'I've written a book. A whole book.' Then Minx can bake you a cake and we can all come round to your blog to celebrate. Can't wait.

1:55 PM   

Anonymous Sharon J said...

LOL. Any excuse for a party, eh?

Looking back over that comment I made, the spelling and punctuation mistakes make me cringe. Christ, I'm gonna have to go through this ms with a fine tooth comb to make sure none of those nasties are left before I send it off.

1:59 PM   

Blogger Eva said...

Sharon, when I saw the title to your post I thought Richard had done something positively horrendous, making your blog quite the HMB in itself!

3:38 PM   

Anonymous Sharon J said...

LOL. No, he's been the perfect hero both today and yesterday. In fact, he even washed my feet for me last night. How's that for romantic? I'd been gardening but my energy levels let me down at the end. I was slumped in the sofa, totally incapable of moving more than enough to grab a cold drink from the table and lift it to my mouth. Because my feet were dirty from the garden, he brought a plastic bowl full of warm water into the lounge, a bar of Dove soap, and set about washing my feet. What a luxury that was!

3:57 PM   

Blogger Eva said...

Be sure to include that episode, more or less, in your next wip. It works for me!

4:27 PM   

Anonymous Sharon J said...

Good idea, Eva (she of multiple identities). It wouldn't really fit in the story I had in mind, but I might choose another instead, just so that I can use it. I can't say I can remember having seen it before in a HMB.

5:22 PM   

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