Having a good editor and receiving valuable feedback from pitch sessions, no matter how devastating it may be at the time, are steps towards a goal, to see your story from all angles, to make sure it is fleshed out and structurally sound. I have made that transition.
The ideas have been snowballing on how to make Echoes better without sacrificing its original flavour, the very thing that made it be written in the first place.
In researching for these new additions, I am floored by how close I’ve been to actual events. I am now an even bigger fan of Mary Shelley and the writers of her time. In fact, my research uncovered a journal written by her about her travels in 1816-17, History of a six week’s tour through a part of France, Switzerland, Germany and Holland. I get to read Mary Shelley in her own voice, not the flowery literature that was popular. I also get to see from her eyes the events of the summer of 1816 as well as the landscape of that time. All of which is immensely valuable in building the opening scene of each chapter to be set during that time. It’ll all be fiction of course, but based on fact.
Needless to say I’m excited again about the book and feel that these changes will bring it to the next level, make it something that stands out and that I’ll be confident to send to the publisher and agent. Both of whom were very interested already.
It’s kind of like starting over.
I’ve also come to terms with my style of writing, at least for this book. Tom Colgan of Penguin books mentioned that it sounded like a literary thriller. I like that. Echoes is definitely character driven.
To be even considered in the same genre as the writers I am writing about means I’ve done my homework and have achieved the right tone.