The last few weeks have been busy, especially in the run up to a good friend’s wedding.
I had to have a new dress (see the photo) with the matching shoes, and the co-ordinating nails and colour my hair again..I was really looking forward to it. There was a lot of anticipation amongst our friends and I’d built myself up so much that I thought it might be an anti-climax, that it couldn’t possibly live up to my high expectations…
Happily, I was wrong. It was a fantastic wedding, one of the best that I’ve been to. The weather was shocking but the bride was beautiful, as were the attendants, the men looked great in their suits, the venue, the food, the company, the free flowing wine (hence the hangover the next day) the dancing, the chocolate fountain..I could go on..made it fantastic fun and a great day. It got me thinking about my wedding day, and how much pressure you feel to make sure people have a good time, how you want it to live up to their (and your own) expectations.
Then I was thinking that when you’re an author (pre-published or not) you have the same responsibility. When a reader picks up your book, you want it to live up to their expectations. You don’t want them to finish the last page and think, ‘oh, that’s x hours of my life I’ll never get back then.’ If they do, they’re unlikely to pick up another book by you in the future. That’s why I think it’s important to redraft and polish before you send work out, and make sure it’s the best writing you can possibly produce – so that what’s inside lives up to the blurb on the back cover that’s made someone pick up and buy the book in the first place.
An American romance publisher has asked for a partial submission of a MS, after a query letter and a synopsis I sent to them recently. Having looked back at the first drafts of the synopsis, first three chapters and query letter, all of them written over a year and a half ago, now having been redrafted…and reshaped..and polished.. the difference was startling. And yes, the originals were highly cringeworthy – a good foundation, but highly embarrassing nonetheless.