While I recovered from my relapse of bacterial meningitis, the BR Approved Stamp arrived in the mail. Once the initial excitement died down – and I could sit up enough to use said stamp – I went ahead and stamped the prologue and first four chapters. I must admit it felt great each time the stamp hit the paper. A physical statement that the chapter was BR Approved is really quite gratifying.
The first stamp went down over the prologue. The thing that was approved, unapproved, discarded, rewritten, and reapproved. When this book sees print, I may need a BR Approval stamp on the prologue just because it was so difficult.
Next was Chapter One. An agent knows in the first 250 words if they like your work. (Ever get the idea agents like the number 250?) If they make it past the first 250 words, the rest of the first chapter must hold their attention. Chapter One is the hook. Get the agent (or BR) convinced they need more. I think BR never wants to see the first sixteen pages of the book again, but we really worked those first pages.
What good is a great first chapter if your reader isn’t interested in the second chapter? Hooks aren’t worth anything if there is no worm to nibble on. Chapter Two had some issues, and a few back and forth things as BR and I fixed those issues. We worked hard, but Chapter Two finally got the stamp of approval.
Chapter Three is probably the worst chapter so far. Let’s ignore the grammar problems that were quite evident. (Sorry, BR!) There was one little passage that took a while to get just right. It was difficult. Extremely difficult. But, it finally came together, and Chapter Three got the official stamp.
Chapter Four had a bunch of stupid mistakes I overlooked when I sent it to BR the first time. Once I went back and fixed those mistakes, BR enjoyed Chapter Four. Me? I’m still not a huge fan, but it is one of those chapters I need. (Or Chapter Four would have gone for the chapter I had to get rid of!)
Ah, now it seems so much more official! There is an actual stamp of approval on the first pages. And yes, as soon as I feel up to driving into town I am buying a folder so all the first pages are kept together. That way I can keep the stamped pages until the cows come home.
When I get an agent I think I’ll do the same thing. Get “AC Approved” engraved in a stamp and make sure everything gets the agent’s stamp of approval. I wonder why I didn’t think of this earlier.
PS: Thanks for all the well wishes! My doctors aren’t sure why I got over the relapse of meningitis so quickly. It shouldn’t have happened, but miraculously I’m on the recovery side! Thanks, everyone!