Last week I had the unexpected pleasure of reading Julie’s manuscript (title in flux!). She asked me to read it straight through, to skip the line edit and focus on inconsistencies, on story and logic issues. As someone who is heavy-handed with the track changes feature, I worried that I’d be unable to ignore the small stuff. I printed it out, single space no less, to keep myself from marking it up too much. But as I read, I hardly had time to think about small stuff (there wasn’t any, by the way), because the story flowed so well, the characters spoke so clearly.
She said it was her first draft, but surely she was exaggerating. When I read the last lines, I cried. Not only at the beautiful ending, at the unpredictable and touching tale, but at the absolute certainty that this was the book that would get her an agent and a publishing deal.
I was so excited when I finished, I texted her right away to tell her. "OMG!! I just finished and BURST into tears! You’ve done it!" (Apparently I write a lot of !! when I’m excited).
Rather than curl up in a jealous ball as I expected I’d do (after all, I’m human, and a yet-to-be published writer), reading Julie’s manuscript-soon-to-be-book motivated me. I am dangerously close to finishing my WIP. Kim is encouraging me by keeping up with her critique as fast as I can send her pages, despite her own story aching to get out and two young children demanding her time. Sure I hope this manuscript will be “the one” for me. Even if it’s not, I have the support of a unique group of women who cheer one another on, even when others may struggle.
I am thrilled that I get to share Julie’s excitement, to be on hand for the queries, the requests, the agonizing decision to choose an agent from the many clamoring to represent her, the joy at hearing her manuscript sell at auction.
Perhaps I’m being over-dramatic, but I’m not the only one who felt this way. Three of us read her book within the last week and we all agreed. This is the one, the one that proves her dream, our dreams, are not unreachable.