Levels Of Validation For An Author

I posted this on facebook, but it was a popular post so I’ll repeat it here.

1: Your mom/friend reads it and says “That was lovely!”

2: Your critique circle says “Definitely a good start.”

3: Best critique partner says “You’ve got a novel here.”

4: Pro author in a blue pencil session reads first 3 pages and says “This is good, send it out to an agent.”

5: Agent reads first 50 pages and offers to look at revisions.

6: Agent reads revisions of first 50 pages, gushes and asks for the full manuscript.

7: Agent has taken the time to read full manuscript, gives feedback, and offers to look at revisions.

My friends and family have mostly encouraged me along the way, but lately I think it’s sinking in to the people around me that I’m not just an aspiring author who’ll get published someday if I work really hard at it. A lot of them have seen how long and hard I’ve worked at it now, and they believe me when I say I’m close to breaking out. I’m at that point where instead of begging people to read my work, people are expressing curiosity and asking to read it. I’ve had people online asking if I needed a beta reader and saying it’s okay if I don’t have time to return the favour. But the reality is, I think the novel’s at the point where a novice author may not have much to offer me that I can’t figure out on my own.

Maybe that’s what’s making my friends realize I’m close to getting published. The fact that I’m not showing my work to anyone who expresses the least bit of interest. When people say, “I’ll wait till it’s published,” I’m not frustrated that they’re not so excited they want to read it now.

And now I’m back to revisions, and I won’t say too much other than if I have anything to announce, don’t worry, I’ll be letting people know. But the feeling an author gets from knowing that an industry professional made it all the way through their manuscript, not just the polished first 5 pages, without throwing it in the garbage… not only that, but thinks it’s close enough to good enough to be worth the time it takes to provide feedback. Knowing they don’t *do* that if they don’t think you’re worth their time.

This is the fuel driving me through revisions 😀

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Finished the Revision *Phew*

So last night I finished revising The Eyelet Dove. I don’t know it it’s really sunk in yet, that I have a finished novel. I’m really proud of it — it’s definitely my best work, and I’ve learned so much from revising it, I know it’s going to be only the beginning of great writing to come.

I’ll probably tinker with little bits here and there, but it’s at the point where whatever nitpicky things I might change, are not going to make the difference between getting an agent or not.

I have my query letter written. I need to touch up my synopsis, but it’s at least got a solid start. I’ll start sending stuff to agents over the next few days. So tired from helping out with the brother-in-law’s social on saturday, though, I have no energy to be excited, even though I am.

It’s Margherita Monday at our place. I decided to start a thing when we moved. I like margheritas, and Mondays suck, so I improve them with magheritas for me, the husband, and the mother in law. So I’m sitting sipping my celebratory drink, with a bendy straw. (Can’t have margheritas without a bendy straw. Ooh, I need to find some of those little umbrellas, that would be awesome!)

Anyway, we’ve done another draw over at http://thepunkettes.blogspot.ca/ but there’s lots more prizes to be won, so check it out. For tonight, I’m signing out dead.

P. S.: For all those who have said, “That’s great, you’ll have to let me know when you get it published,” fear not. When I get it published, I will be telling FUCKING EVERYBODY.