Barely a week has passed since Joanna told me she wanted to represent my novel and I still can’t quite get over it. I mean, I understand that it’s real, but it feels like, maybe I might be dreaming? Or perhaps I stumbled into some sort of wish-fulfilling Matrix-type dealio? It just seems so, I don’t know, perfect, because I know Joanna well and we have the same aesthetic when it comes to YA and she’s completely into my project in a way that only I have ever been into anything I’ve ever written, it just seems like pieces are falling into place like a puzzle and, like, that never happens IRL, does it? DOES it?
In preparation for our phone conversation on Monday, I spent last weekend going through my manuscript, reading most of it out loud because that gives me a better sense of cadence and whether or not dialogue is clunky, etc. My neighbors must think I’m some kind of schizophrenic. Oh well! The point is that I had already identified some things that needed to be changed/fixed up/removed (lots of adverb surgery in this round of edits, methinks)/clarified. When I got Joanna’s editorial letter on Friday afternoon, I had anticipated some of the things she wrote, but some I hadn’t. I don’t disagree with much that she had to say, which is great; some things that she was confused on I thought had been explained, so I might have to point her towards those passages and ask if maybe she missed them, or maybe they’re just not as clear as I think they are, in which case I’ll have to work on them a little more because if there’s one thing a YA mystery doesn’t need to be it’s unnecessarily confusing.
There was one point she made that, when I first read it, I was like, “Hm. I thought that was perfect.” But now I totally found a way to add what she wants to be added and in the process give the story another layer, which is so great. I seriously thought it up last night and got so excited, and this morning I was outside (we’re having a beautiful pre-spring day here in New York, by the way, I even opened my window and everything) and I just got so pumped about this Brand New Brilliant Idea. It’s really the little things, I swear. I even thought of a way to circle back to it later on, to thread it through into a scene about 100 pgs. away from the scene I originally thought it up for (urgh, how much more vague can I get? Sorry, don’t want to give away any details, the book being unsold and a mystery and all that) and use it as, get this: AN ELEMENT OF FORESHADOWING. OMG, this must be why I have a BA and MA in English Literature–so I know words like FORESHADOWING. $150,000 well spent.