Today is the first day of my formal retirement. As I’ve said in the past, my decision was based on multiple reasons, including the chance to spend more time with my parents, visiting my children who live out of state and, of course, pursuing my dream of being a full-time writer. (Not to mention that bucket list that just keeps growing.)
At a conference back in May I pitched my first novel, “Mary Bishop”, an historical women’s fiction with romantic elements, to two different agents. Both voiced an interest in reading a partial manuscript. One asked for the first five chapters, along with a synopsis, but strongly recommended I add approximately 10,000 words. At the time it was 81,500 words in length. The second asked for the first three chapters, along with a synopsis. Since then I’ve been working on those revisions. I like to work with a red pen on paper and this week I completed that first step. Do these changes add 10,000 words? I don’t know. That’s part of the reason why I chose to do it this way. I didn’t want to get caught up in watching the word count go up and down at the corner of the screen. I wanted my changes to be right for the story, not right for the word count.
Next week I leave on a vacation to celebrate my retirement, so I will set aside these hand-written notes for now and come back to them when I return. Then I will type them, tweaking more as I go along, and hope that I add enough words to feel I did what was right for both my story and the agent’s needs. After all, this is her business. She knows what publishers want to sell this kind of novel. My plan is to have everything ready to go out by the end of October. Then it will be time to get back to my second novel, “The Healing Heart”, which was put on hold this summer. I will do this while trying to not obsess about my submission; although, I probably will anyway. Hopefully, at least one of the agents will want to read the full manuscript.
I will keep you informed about both my writing, and my bucket list.