Carol Deer

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Hi Liz

I spent months trying to fit my novel into a genre suggested by the man. assessment. I could not make it work. Eventually, I went back to my first version (pre-assessment), re-read it and realised it was still what I wanted to write.

I did try sending my MS to a few agents a while ago. Only one reply - a standard 'no thanks, not for me'. I'm getting on a bit and can't waste months, or even an entire year, waiting for responses which may or may not come. I'm looking at self-publishing now.

Didn't the agents you submitted to suggest the time you could expect to wait for replies? If that time has elapsed, find some new agents to contact, if you wish to continue the traditional route. As others have said, if the one who requested the full hasn't had the good manners to reply, s/he is not worth bothering with.

We tend to forget that agents are businesses. If they don't give good customer service, take your business elsewhere.

Whatever you do, don't be disheartened. Many of us have felt like that.

Just got around to reading it. I agree with Calvin. It does have a great old movie feel to it.

I'm hooked. More please, Phil.

Added a comment to Handshakes 

Go to your Jericho page (where you sign in) and click on Events Listings. You'll need to scroll down quite a way it was on July 6th this year. It's interesting because he explains his thinking as he does the editing on screen. Made me think.

Added a comment to Handshakes 

Mention the word magic, and I'm interested.

Hello Jean. You'll find many helpful people here to advise you. Harry Bingham did a quite brutal editing job on a volunteer's piece of work on a JW webinar earlier this year. Worth watching.

Looking forward to seeing some of your work.

Hello. Welcome to the 'Yeah, that first version was crap' club. 

PLEASE NOTE: Not speaking for everyone on here; just for me. Been there and done it. Now learning - lots to find on Jericho and tons of advice from knowledgeable folk here. 

Love humour to lighten sci fi and fantasy (perhaps leave out the priests beating kids). Read lots, learn lots, then you never know -  you could turn that maybe into something definite. Hey, you must have liked it once.

Just my opinion, but I think you've overdone it in your re-write - it's turned very poetic and that doesn't fit with what I feel you are trying to say. Did you let yourself be swayed by all the advice and try to incorporate it all?  Remember, you can't please everyone. 

If you decide to carry on with this particular version, which does show much more than the first, you may like to think about a couple of things which occurred to me:

Leaves do the rustling, whereas tree branches might make a sound if there's a strong enough wind to cause them to rub together.

'Pondering' seems far too contemplative for someone in his position. He's just woken up blind and lost in an unknown place. I don't think I'd feel like 'pondering' my dilemma; I think I'd be too panicked. 

The other thing which made me pause was the 'furious thrashing of his heartbeats'. It's an interesting way to try to describe the phenomenon, but I simply don't get thrashing of a heart. You've said his heartbeats are 'booming in his ears'. 

And now I read it again, I suggest you could lose the reference to nightmares - in this re-write, it's lost relevance to what's going on. 

I took a small mental step away from the details and thought: 

The blindness is caused by a magical spell so, in your world, there could actually be absolutely nothing. But you will need to know exactly what the spell does, so that you understand the effects, even if you don't spell it (sorry) out to the reader.  So I then went on to wonder if you should be too concerned with degrees of blindness and recognition of the ways darkness is perceived within this section. I'd be more inclined to concentrate on the visceral aspect and the immediate experience. That's assuming this take on it will fit into your overall story.

If there is more to write, it may be time, as Glyn suggested, to leave it alone for now, work on another chapter or part of the story and then go back to this bit. It's easy to get bogged down in a small part of the whole. When you return, you may well find that your subconscious mind will have sorted out how it should be. Happens to me all the time.

Hello Phil. Welcome. You'll find Townhouse people really helpful and many, like you - me included, who are trying to be writers. Lots of help and advice available and offered generously.

I see you've posted on Coffee and Cake. Another good place to connect with a wider range of writers would be The Lounge and, if you've got super heroes, try joining Sci Fi and Fantasy too.

Looking forward to reading your WIP submissions to peer-to-peer.

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Carol Deer
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