Both judges echoed Allen's critique ' earlier this week re need for greater sensory detail, logical sequencing of 'camera' as the reader moves closer to the main character and is pulled back by setting, authorial intrusion, or breaks in POV . An additional plus: Very helpful feedback on the synopsis, which is always so difficult to write. Here, the judges commented with editing suggestions to make the synopsis more appealing to potential agents/publishers.
One judge wrote, "Has the makings of an excellent story with both a strong story line and characters. The setting is the wild card here, and if done right would really put this book in an excellent place for editors/publishers."
This last comment means I should go to Tasmania somehow -- if I believe in myself and the story. Even if Lawrence Thornton wrote Imagining Argentina without ever having been there. Overall, the comments suggest this is still a working draft, not a final.
First reaction: My gosh, how am I going to revise to these high standards.
Second reaction: Thank you for reading my synopsis and first 30 pages so thoughtfully.
Third reaction: I've got a lot of work to do!
Fourth reaction: I can't afford to spend $6,000 on a trip to Tasmania. Nor can I afford an editor.
As I am now two years into Years of Stone, I'm questioning my stamina. Do I want to write 'the best novel I can' or strive to greatness? Doubts leap out. 'I am old, Father William.' I do work every day, minimum of two hours. But do I -- or does any writer -- have the vision and tenacity to revise to greatness? I'm distracted by that goal of creating a 'great' novel. I just want to write a good story that some readers will find satisfying. Maybe a secondary goal is to make some money to cover a research trip or two. I truly enjoy finding nuggets of history and weaving them into story.
Bottom line: Persevere. Finish my personal goal of 'plug the plot holes' in June and then attack the revision round once again. Make a decision about self-publishing (once again, postponed) or indie publishing by Allen's birthday (August 16).
ROW80 UPDATE: Some good progress. Feel a bit scattered. I'm now beginning each day with 750words.com (following the recommendation, I believe, of Francene Stanley). Well, thanks should go to whoever recommended this great site. Morning pages (750 words) begin each day. I earned a penguin for writing 7 days in a row (I started June 2). I'm using these to worry through scenes that aren't working, stories people tell me, ideas for blog posts. Even yesterday -- a poem on "Frida as Mermaid".
I'll keep it simple for next week:
---Work on revision for Years of Stone.
---Get The Mermaid Quilt up on Smashwords.
As for the rest of the list:
---Contact indie bookstore re reading/presentation
---Write a REVIEW of a writing craft book
---send interview questions for guest post to Judy Leslie
---Continue 750 words a day warm-ups
---Critique or sub to NOVELS-L at The Internet Writing Workshop
---Work on Marketing Plan
---Keep working on web skills
---Maybe write another poem
---When all else fails, quilt, take a walk, or cook!
May your week go well . . . and your writing even better!