Today was my favourite kind of day: a morning/afternoon spent discussing novel writing (and associated topics) with my writing group, and an evening spent deep in the act of writing itself.
So far it seems to be the same six-or-so of us -- a subset of SuperNOVA -- that keep turning up to the 'novel stream' meetings. Today, much of our talk was about the Hachette Livre spec fic novel workshop, for which a few of us are applying. I'm sure others in SN are also applying, but they haven't graced us with their presence at brunch yet!
We also had a lively discussion about the role of agents, and just how much clout they should have in a novelist's work. We hear stories of agents requesting full rewrites of manuscripts before agreeing to even represent an author. To me, this seems like an extra hurdle to jump over. Yet many of us do, because we're so keen to have representation, since so many publishers will simply not accept unsolicited manuscripts.
This evening I have been editing my 5 chapters/50 pages for submission to the workshop, based on reader comments. This is rather a satisfying exercise, because I can see it taking shape. I've been weeding out words and repetitions that don't work, adding sensory detail, clarifying things that don't make sense . . . or deleting them if they're unnecessary. These 5 chapters are going to be streets ahead of anything else in the manuscript.
I'm looking forward now for the submission to be gone, because then I'll be able to concentrate on chapter 6 and beyond. I've become a bit too fixated on chapters 1-5! Before, when under pressure, I found the very thought of chapter 6 (which is to be yet another rewrite) daunting. But now I find it exciting!