Dead lines

On Wednesday 14th August 2013, I submitted my just-short-of-4kĀ opening, synopsis and bio for SCBWI -BI’S Undiscovered Voices 2014 competition. When I pressed that button labelled SUBMIT – the other meaning seemed all too relevant. I felt trembly and humble – like sneaking my homework onto the Headteacher’s marking pile and running away.

It was that line about it cannot be changed. All that irrevocability.

I felt the poor thing was dead, embalmed, or pinned down like a Death’s Head moth in a Cabinet of Curiosities.

One comfort was the remaining 67k or so.{ If any agents or editors are reading, yes, it is finished!} Those words have possibilities for playing with, some life left in them. I feel there are still aspects I can nurture, prune, train up a trellis.

To an extant, a story is never finished. It’s always tinkerable. But when to let go? I had no choice with that first sample.

Is writing a story like gardening – never done?

Or is it more like painting? You get to a point where you send it out and let the viewer, or the reader, decide.

Now there’s a happy thought. I believe that the reader brings life to a writer’s words. Another person interacts with your scribbling, imagines, creates a world out of your work in their heads. How ASTONISHING is that? It emerges like a living thing in a new form.

So now I think I may be waiting till December to see if my work has pupated successfully!


3 thoughts on “Dead lines

  1. I know what you mean – it did feel to me like the extract that finally ended up in the anthology was somehow trapped in amber, even if I then went on to rewrite the rest of the book! Good luck with the competition.

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