I'm putting A Baby's Bones into another competition, mostly because the deadline has made me sharpen up my focus on the book, now I'm in the middle doldrums, and has forced me to finish a reasonable synopsis. It turns out, I'm not floundering, I'm starting the build up to the finale. Eventually I hope to conquer 'saggy middle syndrome' by just writing a good beginning and a strong ending, then welding them together with a few well written paragraphs.
I drew on Nicola Morgan's Write a Great Synopsis, which I found enormously helpful, and has clarified what a synopsis is for me. I think I was including elements of an outline, worrying about sequence, but now the synopsis is a neat 800 words and does sound like a book I'd quite like to read.
I also re-ordered the first three chapters, wanting to include more of the conflicts in both strands. (I'm writing two stories, woven together again, I can't keep away from the history, and anyway, I can't write a long enough story otherwise).
My agent still has my novel, I'm trying to be patient, but I'm really keen to get on with it! Maybe she's out enjoying the ridiculous heat - if so, I can forgive her, it's baking hot here, way too hot to be hunched over someone else's novel. It's also get-no. 2-son-from-Uni day so the husband's going to be broiled as well.
I'm entering the Yeovil competition partly because I'm looking for exposure and to put something in the CV. Sophie Hannah is the judge, and I hope this will catch her eye, and maybe make the longlist. Then I can sort out the pamphlet of poems for Mslexia, by which time (hopefully) final edits for The Secrets of Life and Death should be done. Busy days.