Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Who Are You, Secret Reader?

When my agent picthed my manuscript to editors I realized I was free for awhile – free from the characters I had been working with for several years. It felt like I was on vacation from my family; I knew I’d see them again, but I could relax and enjoy the space between us.

Fortunately, that space produced two new book ideas that I didn’t even realize were brewing. In the first couple of weeks I couldn’t stop writing, scenes were just pouring out of me. I worked on both manuscripts simultaneously and then I hit a wall. I realized I had to be monogamous; I had to pick one and deepen my commitment.

I was torn on which one to pursue and my writer’s group was split on the decision. I decided to try Agent Laura to get an objective opinion on which she thought was more viable. She was heading off to a conference, so she sent them off to a Secret Reader to get an opinion until she could get to them. Apparently the agency has readers, kept anonymous to the clients, that review work when even the agent needs a second, objective opinion. Personally, I love the idea of a Secret Reader – I want complete honesty and only someone who has no stake in whether or not you like them can be unabashedly, brutally critical or, on the other hand, give you a genuine compliment.

Yesterday I received the comments from said Secret Reader and was delighted that s/he had such good things to say. One manuscript was strongly preferred over the other, and supporting reasons were given. All of it was true true true, but unable to be seen by me.

Forging ahead with MS #1!

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