Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Say a Little Prayer For Me...

by Brittany Geragotelis

I finished writing my sixth book, Painless a little over a week ago, and immediately threw myself into my first edit of the book. This was mostly because I wanted to have a truly good first draft, and partially because I'd given myself a self-imposed deadline of having the book ready to send out by the first of June. I also had an agent-friend (let's call her Agent X) itching to read it when it was done.

Agent X was one of the first "industry people" to encourage me to go edgier with my writing. She was especially interested in Painless from the first time I told her about it and has acted as a sounding board for me throughout the process. So, between her excitement to read it and my antsyness to have the first draft out of my hands, I made a vow to have it done, ASAP.

Now that I'm finished, the results are out of my much as I want to get an agent, I can't just take someone by the shoulders, shake them and say, "Represent me!!!!" until they say yes. People don't appreciate it when you use physical force to get what you want...go figure.

You know, it wasn't until my fourth book that I actually did a read-through myself, before sending it out to agents. See, by the time I finish writing a book, I'm so sick of thinking about it, writing about it, living in it, that the last thing I want to do is read it AGAIN. So, I've always had a friend of mine read the first draft and edit it for me, look for any inconsistencies in the story, mistakes in timelines and characters and of course, spelling and grammar. Thank GOD for her (Shout out to Marisa!), because had she not slaved tirelessly over my writing, there's no way my books would have been in any shape to be read.

Anyway, starting with my fourth book, Sober in the City, I began reading the first draft myself to make sure that it was the product I wanted it to be. But even then, it's a little difficult, because I'm so close to my books, that I'm afraid I can't really look at them clearly. Like I'm too close to be objective.

photo credit: Matt Irwin/
And then specifically with Painless, I wasn't sure whether I'd done what I'd set out to do. I've always played it pretty safe with my writing, made family-friendly teen books. Painless is not what I would call family-friendly. The main character is damaged, dark and difficult....and with someone like that, there's a delicate balance between making a complicated character and having her still be likeable. (Here's what I imagine my main character, Bliss, to look like; I modeled her after supermodel Jessica Stam...only Bliss has dark hair and a sprinkling of scars.)

So, even though when I read through the book, I enjoyed the story I'd come up with, I'm not quite sure if I accomplished my goal. I guess I'll find out soon enough, since I sent off a copy of it to Agent X on Monday night, as well as to a few people VERY close to me.

I'm crossing my fingers that when I do hear back, that the feedback is good and that this is "the one" that finally hooks me an agent!

Wish me luck!




Anonymous said...

I CERTAINLY wish you luck. I'm on pins and needles (probably like you are) and if your faux agent has any sense at all. . .she'll pick it up!