Weeknotes – S06E36 – Third Novel Done!


Novel number three is done! Perhaps my brain will finally accept I’m actually a novelist now? I also did some really good client work this week – still really enjoying the freelance lifestyle and getting to work on other people’s books for a living.



No client work to do today, so I focused on Legacy. I reviewed and revised 40 pages, completing the most significant alterations from Amie’s feedback, which felt really good.



I won a client project based on a sample edit I did over the weekend – a book about finding your life’s purpose – so I started work on that this morning.

I tweaked my Legacy query letter yet again, and considered my options regarding submission. The Grindstone International Novel Prize would be an amazing opportunity, should Legacy get longlisted, but it requires that entrants don’t have any representation or a book deal for the manuscript. The results come out at the end of November, so I decided it might be best to wait until the second half of October before submitting to agents or presses, just in case.

I also wrote a review of Ignite the Sun by Hanna C Howard, which was recommended to me by my wonderful editor, Amie McCracken as a possible comparison novel for Legacy. I listened to the audiobook and I think she’s right.



Hannah had sent me the latest version of her novel to read and edit, so I started that.

I also wrote my review of a book I picked up at the station book exchange – Mrs England by Stacey Halls, which I read really quickly. I hoped this meant I’d be properly back in the reading groove for the first post-pandemic reading retreat in a few weeks!

I got a rejection for a piece of flash fiction I wrote earlier in the year, so I punted it straight back out to another prospective publisher, because that’s the only way to do it!



I was actually up and at my usual cafe table (grabbed it ten minutes before the other ‘laptop person’ turned up and had to take a different one – score one for me today!) well before 9am.

I edited the second third of the book on purpose, then went back to working on Hannah’s book for a while, interspersing with final Legacy edits. I finished all the revisions, then did a Grammarly check, took out the scene headings and added in chapter breaks – creating my ‘final’ draft for submission to agents!



I did lots of negotiation with prospective clients this morning. Even after doing this job for over a year, I’m still making mistakes and learning as I go. Example: if I agree in principle to do two rounds of edits on a manuscript for two equal fees, and the manuscript doubles in size during revisions after the first round, am I then bound to complete the second round for the agreed fee? I’m assuming some discussion around reasonable expectations should be okay, right? (Apparently so, since the client agreed to increase the fee!)

I completed editing on the book about purpose and sent it back to the author for review and approval. It was a fun project and also reaffirmed that I have found my purpose – helping others to bring out the best in their writing!

The penultimate contribution to Meditations came through the night before, so I inserted it and edited it. So close a complete draft!

Then I went back to Hannah’s book and finished editing that, so she would have the complete manuscript to work on during her writing retreat next week.

Later, I submitted Legacy to a couple of publishing houses that don’t require agent representation (going back on my decision to wait for competition results…) and another competition. Exciting! But also frustrating, since every publisher seems to have different formatting requirements and it’s much harder to apply different formatting to a whole novel manuscript than it is for a short story!



I wrote a review of Les Mis, which we went to see the night before, after the trip was delayed for two and a half years.

I had resigned myself to having no client work for the next week, to the extent that I was really looking forward to taking some time off – and then I got several clients overnight and was suddenly going to be really busy!


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