From the Writing Room

My middle grade manuscript has passed the test and has moved from the ‘wait and see’ shelf to the ‘submit’ shelf.

This manuscript initially titled Le Petit Paris needs a new title to avoid the confusion with Trapped in Paris.

At night when my son does his homework and my husband tackles last minute business stuff, I scribble down some ideas for possible titles.

I also work on a single sentence to describe this novel.

Years ago, an editor asked me about a manuscript I was trying to place. I knew my novel so well that I could recite entire paragraphs. She held her hand up and was nice enough to give me this piece of advice:

“Your story should fit in one sentence.”

Forward a few years.

Et voilà my middle grade novel in one sentence:

(Title) is a story of loss, friendship, adolescent ideals, and parental secrets set in a small French town in 1970.

Can I add a short sentence, please?

The story is told from an American boy’s and a French girl’s point of view.

And just a few more words?

In this novel – like I do in my life – I share my affection for my native country and the French culture as well as my love for my adoptive country.

Accidently two of my writing group members came to the meeting with older manuscripts as well. One has recently signed with an agent and was asked to revise a manuscript. The other is seeking representation, and her work has regularly triggered interest. Will she get representation? She deserves it, so we are all crossing our fingers.

As for me, I’m a little bit of a misfit. Caught between two languages and cultures the Do It Yourself can only attract me.

With Trapped in Paris, which I independently published, I have learned a lot – especially from my many mistakes. I am much better equipped now than I was last year.

More on my final decision soon…

On Wednesday, I offered my critique group a taste of the prologue I wrote for my YA novel.

They won’t mind a second sip next week. image(7)

Back to the writing room.

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