Writing update for May

Well, I’ve been madly reworking the last half of Prophecy of Power: Werewolf, my epic fantasy, in the hope that Angry Robot will ask for the full manuscript some time in the next month or two.

I’m not planning any major changes, but I think the tension needs to escalate more, particularly in the last four or five chapters.

With a few minor structural changes – basically having most of the main characters come together at the end, I should be able to achieve that.

As it is, two of them don’t really do much, but if I could bring them together, elevate the angst and have it all culminate in a final fight scene, it should work much better.

I’ve got about six or eight thousand words to do it in. Fingers crossed.

Missed out on Manuscript Development Program

I heard yesterday that I missed out on the Varuna HarperCollins Manuscript Development Program. Bit of a shame as it would have been a fantastic opportunity, but there’s always another opportunity. Just got to get myself ready for the next one.

A big cheer for both Varuna and HarperCollins for putting it on in the first place. To have made the top twenty is a pretty good achievement in itself and I’m pretty thrilled about that. It means I’m getting closer.

The winners were:

  • Antonia Baldo  “Hannah and Celeste”
  • Jewelene Barrile  “The Cartography Lesson”
  • Eleni Hale  “Rock Girl”
  • Kathryn Hall   “The Discarded”
  • Megan Jennaway  “The Water Jar”

Congrats to all the winners!

Varuna are offering me a discounted consultation for making the top twenty, and I’m seriously considering taking them up on it. Feedback’s always a good thing.

Making the shortlist was good feedback – tells me the beginning’s very strong (which is what I had to submit initially).

Missing the top five also told me a few things – the ending’s not compelling enough for them to want to take it further (had to supply the entire novel so I’m guessing something in the ‘rest’ didn’t quite work for whoever read it). I’m sure the experts at Varuna could expand on that.

My suspicions lay in the ending. I basically cut the original novel in half and rewrote the ending. Don’t think I did a good enough job re-working it.

Regardless, the next opportunity for me is the Angry Robot Open Submission 2012. They’re looking for High Fantasy, which is exactly what I’ve got. Not sure if it will fit neatly into their lineup as it’s fairly commercially-orientated, but I’ll never know if I don’t try.

I’ll rework the ending again on the assumption that’s what’s letting me down, and see where it takes me.

After that I’ll be trying the Terry Pratchett first novel contest – a new book this time. Urban fantasy. It’s written, though still mostly in its first draft stage. Will have to polish it up, but I should have the time.

Hopefully by this time next year I’ll have a third book doing the rounds as well. Got one half-written. Just got to finish it. The more I’ve got out there, the better my chances.