WDU: My First Ten Pages Bootcamp — Recap


Hello, Don’tRead Faithful!
Well, after an eventful and emotional weekend, I completed my WDU course, “Your First Ten Pages Bootcamp,” and I’d like to talk about it. I’m still awaiting the final revision feedback from Jessica, so I don’t feel prepared to fully review it, but I wanna share some of my impressions.

So here’s a recap of what the course is:

The course offers a chance to watch two video-instructional seminars given by veteran agents detailing what they (and publishers) are looking for in a novel opening. You get a chance to refine your manuscript before sending the first ten pages to an agent for review. The next day, the agent sends you some feedback—mine was this:  feedback Then you get to re-revise based upon those suggestions. A three-hour, open forum Q&A session with your assigned agent (plus you can view, but not post in, other agents’ forums) allows you to get clarification on whatever kinks might come up in revision, then your re-revised first ten are due by the early evening. Within seven days, your agent will email you again with additional feedback – this is the part for which I’m still waiting. It is also important to note that the course description calls specific attention to the possibility of an agent liking your work and wanting to see more.

So here’s the play by play—I jotted down some impressions for y’all while I was working (or not working).

Day 1:

  • Watched both seminars. Pretty good balance of stuff I already knew and stuff which was new to me.
  • Revised (read: overhauled) my MS opening to a point at which I was satisfied. There’s almost nothing left of the original opening, save the plot points.
  • Submitted my manuscript early as I was pretty pleased with it.

 Day 2:

  •  Largely nada as I had turned in my MS the night before.

 Day 3:

  •  Got my feedback from Jessica Negron, to whom I was assigned on the project.
  • Head Hopping? I’ve never heard of that… I thought I was omniscient!
  • The Eastern Time Zone business played hell with my stuff today as I found myself with two fewer hours than I thought to do everything.
  • Being lazy—I ended missing the QA almost entirely, which sucked. Still kicking myself for that.
  • Didn’t start working on revisions until 4:00PM.
  • Stress myself out and end up making many subtle revisions to de-stilt the dialogue and eliminate some of the multiple perspectives.
  • Submitted my re-revisions a little ahead of time, having once again found myself happy with them.
  • Realize two days later I forgot to use the right subject and freak out.

So that’s where I’m at. My MS’s opening has improved greatly, but I’m still torn about the head-hopping thing. I recognize that I do it, but it’s my favorite way to read AND write. They say to write what you love, so I’m torn between editing it into a 3rd Person Limited Omniscient POV, and practicing until I’m really able to nail 3rd P. Omniscient.

Tell me what you think of jumping in and out of people’s minds—do you like it, or hate it? Do you even notice? What should I do? 

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