Author Update No. 6: Gotta Love the Process! #amwriting

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Hello. Thank you so much for your interest in Waking Monologues. I hope it is helpful to you on your journey. I am using this blog post position to keep interested readers up-to-date on the progress of this site, the book and other events that come along. If you have any questions for me you can send them through the form on the Meet Holly page. I will try and answer them here.

Dear Readers,

My last Author Update was in November and a lot has happened since then. I finished the FIRST DRAFT in December and, as promised, submitted it to the Ladies of the Street (LOTS) book club for their review in January. In the meantime, I read the first and last chapter to my Read and Critique (R&Q) group. They gave me two bits of advice - actually they have given me endless and appreciated advice but two bits stood out.

"Your last chapter is really for your first chapter," They said. "It brings homes the crux of the story and draws in the reader."

This was actually their second game changer. The first involved the title. They had been telling me for some time I needed to change it. I agreed with both thoughts for revision and went to work.

The perplexing part came when the LOTS, having the older version of both the title and the first chapter, gave me their opinions. At their January review, once I updated them, there were mixed opinions on the changes.  Some liked the book as it was, others preferred the new start.

What to do?

Beyond that, their input was great and the reception of the book positive. I had been to a few of their book reviews in previous months so I felt satisfied with my results. Given the comments they would give on published books or even best sellers, my words had held their own. Yay!

What I have learned moving forward, in this next phase of my book, is two things. First, I will be getting a lot of advice and it is exactly that. It is up to me to suss out what I feel warrants a change and what I will let pass. Second, I now recognize that I am NOT finished. A FIRST DRAFT is also exactly that. Like any paper, report or other written work, it will require polishing.


I have submitted my first chapter and a cover letter to three agents as part of an advanced submission program for the Southern California Writers Conference. In February at the conference,  I will meet personally with all three. Hopefully, they will all be fighting amongst themselves to sign me on. But, at a minimum, I look to get valuable insights into the next steps towards publication. Stay tuned on that.....

Very kindly yours,
Holly McNeill