one thing i have learned about myself as a writer is that i can only finish a book if i work on one manuscript at a time.
for the past couple of weeks, i've been struggling to decide whether that manuscript would be GRIM or BD&B. i now know why i couldn't decide... because deep down, i knew the work on BUTTER wasn't done.
and oh! the work that lies ahead!
i am about to embark on some pretty major revisions, based on the tremendous insight of... well, let's just call this person "agent almost."
i say "almost" because there has been no offer of representation. instead, there has been great communication and now - a beautiful and lengthy (i'm talking 1300 words) revision letter.
we can do a tiny little happy dance here, because it's not a "rejection, revision ideas and offer to resubmit" letter, but a definite "work on this, because i want to work with you" letter.
and people, this letter is as inspiring as it is intimidating.
phrases like "deep and universal," "vivid and complicated," "strong and authentic" and "captivating" had me on my tippy-toes, reaching for cloud nine.
while words like "unrealistic" and "stereotype" kept me grounded.
i thought i would want a revision letter to tell me exactly what to do - add this scene, take out that one. instead, i got one pointing out what needs improvement and leaving it to me to figure out how to do it. and i couldn't be more thrilled. now, any changes i make are still my changes, my work. instead of being given direction, i was given inspiration.
i also thought revisions that require some pretty major overhauls would be a reflection of a big messy book. instead, i felt like "agent almost"was saying: you wrote something good, but you have no idea just how GREAT the book you're writing could be.
it made me feel like someone out there has even more confidence in me than i have in myself.
and i hope every author gets to read a letter like that someday.