I am officially coming out as a writer, it seems, having been given a Highly Commended place in the 2022 Emerging Writer prize from Moniack Mhor and the Bridge Awards. Thanks very much to them! I am hoping to take part in one of their retreats at the writing centre sometime, care responsibilities permitting. And I look forward to reading the work of the other finalists and the winner Natalia Theodoridou.
Meanwhile, I’ve been enmeshed in edits after receiving the long and detailed notes from my agent Louise. It’s such an interesting process; after so long writing this book on my own, I feel like there’s someone in the pages with me now, a dialogue where we’re both so focused on this little world I created. I can see now why writers rely so much on their agents (and editors), because as well as the business side of things, it’s having someone champion and, hopefully, really understand your work. I love hearing someone respond to the characters, both when she agrees with me (little notes that say “Mrs Nye is so good at this!”) and when she differs (she’s been challenging me to make someone less likeable). It’s weirdly physical work, though, tiring. There aren’t any really big structural or plot changes to make at this stage, it’s more about tweaking small things as we go to make sure the characters are consistent or that each chapter has a real purpose. And I’m almost saying goodbye to them and to the book – I can see the end in sight.
Of course, after this it’ll go out on submission to publishers and if successful, there would be another round of edits. Which is fine, because The Ghost Marriage will never leave me – published or not, this story, these characters, are part of me now. They’ll haunt me forever.
But I really am ready to create a new world.