I’m going to enter into Harlequin/Mills and Boon’s Romance Blitz competition. There, I said it. I have everything ready: query letter, synopsis and first chapter. I’ve revived my Twitter, I’ve finally got my website up. But am I ready?
I’m more ready than I was years ago when I finished my first novel (it still has some good bits, but boy I was young). I’m more ready than when I finished my second and tried to publish it through traditional channels (before ebooks took over in genre fiction). But I am missing critique. I’m finally ready to hear it, and I can’t find anyone who knows what they’re talking about to give me some feedback before I submit. This is a true failing and if the timeframe of the comp wasn’t so tight, I’d hold back simply because I need feedback. But I can’t lose anything. I’ll get feedback from the editors anyway, which is awesome.
The Romance Blitz isn’t in the right series for my main WIP, so it hasn’t changed my plan A for Matt and Sarah. But it has given me the opportunity to whip Meg and Jon into shape. I wasn’t as disciplined writing the bits and pieces I have of their story, but some of the scenes I have written are so sharp, I still surprise myself. It’s the conflict that rips the pages into life. They are so hurt, so antagonistic. Poor Jon has so many things to come to terms with. Only a woman with the grace and strength of Margaretha van Sappel de Ruane could provide the motivation to sort out his issues. And now I’ve written the full synopsis, I know exactly how they get there: with fights and family and loyalty. I can only hope I’ve injected enough of this angst into the first chapter.
The timing of the competition is excellent. I will wait for some critique for the first three chapters of Matt and Sarah’s story, but this is a practice run. I’ve found these tips. I’ve finally got the impetus to sort out the issues with my website. Soon we should be all systems go.
But am I ready to send Meg and Jon to the front line? Well I haven’t pressed the button, yet. But here’s hoping for some decent feedback when I do.