Getting published (Part 1) – or realising your masterpiece isn’t: So I had an agent? Not yet. What I had was a very nice man who was willing to read my book and tell me everything that was wrong with it. The first draft of If I Should Die (and it wasn’t called that at the time but that’s for another blog) was 98,000 words. I’d been through countless drafts, tweaks and changes and I believed it was as good as I could make it. The very nice man disagreed, very nicely. And this was where I played my trump card – I was, and am, a complete novice. Cluelessness was my default position. If someone in the industry, an honest-to-god-professional, was willing to advise me, I was willing to listen. The next draft was 115,000 words, the one after that longer. Each time I changed it, it got longer, but better. The first good piece of advice I had been given along the way, tangentially from my agents wife via mine at that first coincidental chat (see blog 4), was ’don’t be precious’. She was talking about book covers, but the same applies to drafts. I chose to act on sound advice. I’d have been a fool not to.