I haven’t managed any creative writing in over a week due to a four-day trip to Belgium over this weekend. It was fantastic: saw the battlefields at both Ypres and the Somme and came back with lots of great ideas on how I could bring to life the English Civil War in the same way our guide (a brilliant historian) brought to life the Western Front.
The trip was one focused mainly on teachers. You take two kids each and receive all sorts of training on how to deliver a battlefields trip. I was fortunate enough to share a room with two lovely ladies, one of which has offered to read Journey, while the other read it, non-stop, while I sat beside her on the coach. It’s the first time I’ve ever watched someone read my book and was really encouraged by how engrossed she became. On the way back from Calais she literally couldn’t put it down and was full of praise at the end.
Whilst it did give me a massive confidence boost, it has also given me a completely fresh perspective on my novel. This wasn’t a jaded, struggling author, like my beta readers (and I say this in the nicest way, being the ultimate jaded, struggling author), nor was it a friend who knew me and wished to flatter me. She was shocked by some of the ‘dos and don’ts’ of the publishing process and some of the apparent logic to publishing success. She especially didn’t see the negative attitude toward opening with a battle scene – saying she couldn’t name the number of famous works she’d read that had. It certainly makes me pleased for sticking with my guns on that one. Or at least, so far I am.
So on the back of this, I have compiled a list of ten literary agents for submission. I’ve rewritten my synopsis so that it’s tighter. Need to tweak it a little just to add more of my ‘voice’ to it, then it’ll be good to go. No doubt they’ll get rejected… but I live in hope that one will come back with sincere feedback at least.
In other news…
In the pub planning a trip to Scotland with Ellie. Dan popped back online while I was in Belgium but nothing to report, 0ther than the hope of seeing him in a fortnight. Mass tomorrow so better practice my creed. A lady is coming on to try Misty for part-loan tomorrow so to help me out in the working week. Misty was a cow today in the school and Lynne thinks it’s because she’s not had a good gallop in a while; I’m sceptical. Diet has resumed and it’s fucking awful.