/> Witchblood: November 2011

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Cornerstones

Cornerstones are in my mind a great tool for an aspiring author and well worth the money as my greatest frustration with all the rejections from agents was that they don't give you any feedback at all! Nothing, nada, niente! So you don't know if it's the story they don't like, whether they think your writing style is bad, whether its the grammar that's bothering them, spellings, pace... you get the idea! You don't even know if they bothered to read past the first page!

Cornerstones fills this gap. You basically send them your manuscript (or part of it) and for a fee they send it on to an editor who reads every single line of it and then writes a full report (different types depending on what you pay for) telling you what works, what doesn't, and what needs changing.

I went for an indepth report and received a full 16page typed report, giving a general overview and then breaking my manuscript down and highlighting specific issues. It was a revelation! Firstly I didn't realise I'd put so many cliches in it - which all had to go! They helped me with the pace and showed enough interest to give me the boost I needed to carry on.

It was like doing a mini creative writing course, and probably cost a similar amount, but it was all tailored to my manuscript.

I now had weeks of re-reading and editing ahead of me!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The Beginning

Well here I am almost exactly two years since I finished my first draft of Witchblood - my first attempt at writing a full length novel. I say full length but in the world of publishing if you are an unknown, unpublished writer you have to keep keep your word count well under 100k. In fact it was suggested I get it under 80k words so at about 72k words it is certainly no Twilight!

Two years ago I was full of excitement...I mean I had written a book, a whole book and I had a handful of people no less who had read it and enjoyed it. It was ready to go, or so I thought so I bought the Writers & Artists Yearbook, got on Google and made a long list of agents. I decided to send it out to ten at a time, so I picked five agents who specialised in childrens and YA - these are great because they have moved with the times and usually allow you to email them the synopsis and 3 chapters - and five mainstream literary agents to post to.

By January I had ten replies, all rejections. Standard mass produced 'sorry we're not interested' letters from the postal enquiries and a couple of slightly more helpful rejections from the email enquiries. They were rejections, and they didn't give me any helpful tips, but three seperate agents all suggested the same thing... that I try Cornerstones Literary Consultancy. So I did.