It may be Saturday, but I couldn't wait to get to work today. Not on "Scurvy Dogs!" My agent yesterday sent the revision notes for "Chrissie Warren: Pirate Hunter."
These are suggestions that he has, six pages of notes with his reactions to the book, things he thinks I ought to consider before it's ready to be shown to publishers. Plus a marked-up copy of the manuscript with thoughts and suggestions.
Scanning them, they fall into three categories – things I agree with completely; things I can see the point and have to consider; and a few, very few things I don't agree with. He made it clear, these are his suggestions, it's my book and it’s my call.
But c'mon. He's the agent, he's the one who will show it to publishers, he's the one who understands what they're looking for and how they think. More importantly, he's an informed eye giving me the benefit of an outside view. I'd be a fool to ignore him.
The big issue is the pace of the opening chapters. I knew some people found that problematic, but wasn't sure what to do. I thought I'd made it as solid as I could and couldn't really think of how to pick up the pace. If the book is about the change the main character goes through as a result of the action, changing from a quiet, timid girl into a courageous, active figure, then don't we have to see that timid person?
But I had one of those "Aha!" moments, literally. I was driving home from an errand, I wasn't driving more than 10 minutes and I wasn't thinking about the story. But when I got out of the car I had it all in my mind – exactly how to make it work! "Aha!" I said.
I love moments like that.
Funny thing – One of his notes is that he's not crazy about the title. "Chrissie Warren: Pirate Hunter." Now, as I wrote earlier, that was not the original title. The original was "The Wreck of the Gladys B." and it was the name for about two years. It took me a long damn time to come up with "Chrissie Warren Pirate Hunter," and it took a chance comment from my daughter to get that. So I don't know if I've got anything better. But I'll think about it.
And if anyone is reading this and has an idea, I'll listen.
But I've gotta get back to work. I have already written – rewritten – the first 700 new words, and I’ve got lots of work to do. This is the fun part. Writing the story is hard work. That's where you discover what the story is. This is the part where, I know the story, now how do I tell it the very best way possible so that people will want to read it? That's fun.