Thursday, 17 January 2008


There's nothing like a good deadline to sort one out.

I have had a rollercoaster ride of emotion this week. I am submitting my work-in-progress for the "Orbit/QWC manuscript development program for speculative fiction authors". This involves submitting 50 pages of novel (approx. 13K words) and a synopsis to Brisbane (in hard copy) by next Wednesday.

It's a brilliant opportunity for me, and the timing is really good. I have re-written the required number of pages (just) and I have a complete draft that can be worked on. Moreover, Orbit/Hachette Livre would probably be my first choice of publisher. So if I make it into the program (they're only taking 10) then my beloved WIP will be read by either the publisher or senior editor of Orbit, who may decide to publish it.

Of course, this is all highly speculative: IF I make it into the program (and the competition will be extremely tough) they MAY like it enough to . . . (holds breath and crosses fingers). Even if they decide they don't like it much, I will still receive valuable feedback etc.

At the moment, however, there's still speculation as to whether I'll even get the application away -- which brings me back to my rollercoaster week.

I've known about the deadline and submission requirements for over a month. That should have been plenty of time to get a synopsis together (how hard could that be?) and write the final 10 pages required to meet the entry requirements -- especially since I had two weeks off work over Christmas. But somehow all that blessed time has slipped through my fingers, and I have found myself this week trying to perfect the 50 pages and create a synopsis (which, by the way, is extremely difficult) in time for my self-imposed submission deadline of tomorrow.

There has been much ranting, raving, and pep-talks received from a very patient Tracey, who has also (it seems) devoted her entire week to reading and fixing some very dodgy words on my part. (Thanks, Tracey!)

Anyway, she has also convinced me that it'll be OK to submit on Monday, giving me the weekend to finalise everything -- which is why I am finally allowing myself to post here.

It's amazing how much more rational I feel, knowing that I have until Monday. Suddenly, I am actually able to focus on words and expression and logic. Instead of taking me an entire day to produce a second draft of my synopsis -- which seemed optimistic last night -- I have achieved it in a mere couple of hours this evening!

But, in all, deadlines are good. At least this one has got me back into writing again, because since November I have struggled -- and before November I hadn't written anything since finishing the draft in July. So it's about time I got back into the groove. After all, if I'm feeling optimistic, I may have an entire manuscript to submit around the middle of March!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a fantastic opportunity. How exciting. Having your writing, your name 'out there' is so important.

    Good luck with it!