My last post was about how I write, and I mentioned that I was working on a project close to my heart with an illustrator. Well, I’d finished the first draft, and I’d sent it to my agent, along with a good writer friend and the illustrator. The writer friend was the first to get back to me: ‘I LOVE it!’ she enthused. She had a list of comments and suggestions, of course, which was absolutely fine, but basically it was DECENT, and she liked it very much. And then the illustrator got back to me, and she LOVED it too and she couldn’t wait to get started…
…and then my agent got back to me. And she didn’t quite love it. In fact, she made quite a lot of suggestions that would mean changing…well, almost everything.
And I went…uhhh. Because it’s hard when you’ve been working for ages on something and you think you’ve nailed it (or at least the essence of it) and then someone whose opinion you respect massively doesn’t agree. I was quite deflated for a while. I couldn’t see my way through, and I was also frustrated because if you could see just HOW MANY versions of this book there are in my computer…well, you’d understand why I really DON’T want to write it all over again, from scratch!
But that’s what I’m doing. Because I’ve talked it over with my writer friend and the illustrator, and THEN the illustrator had a bit of a BRAINWAVE about the central character and her best friend…and so now I can sort of see my way through it again.
So it’s with a resigned sigh but also a sense of a new adventure that I’ve opened a new document, typed the title at the top, and started yet again.
That’s what writers do. And anyone who wants to get anywhere in life. You pick yourself up again, and you start over. And maybe, just maybe, THIS time…it’ll be the right version. The one where I nail it.
I do hope so!