After spending the past two weeks pouring over the first couple of chapters of my novel, editing, weeding out backstory, honing, I subbed my first 50 pages and revised synopsis to the Hachette Australia manuscript development program today.
The feedback on my revised synopsis from my writing group was generally positive, so it only needed a few tweaks here and there. The real work was done on the first chapter, which I pared back and reshaped substantially, while retaining its essence. I reasoned that if I could nail the first few chapters and synopsis, any prospective readers would hopefully be sucked in by the time they got past chapter 3. Since my chapter 2 is already in my view pretty strong, that left chapters 1 & 3 to focus on. Well, mainly chapter 1.
I feel rather pumped about the whole thing at present. It's given me a focus. Applicants will be notified of success/failure on 23 September, so I have until then to progress my rewrite -- because if I am successful I will need to sub the full manuscript right away. If I am not successful, I will likely take a little break to combat severe depression! But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
For now, I'm feeling optimistic.