Wednesday, January 19, 2011
If Nothing Else It Sure Is an Interesting Journey
In the world of publishing there are some truths that, no matter how many blogs or twitter feeds I’ve read, seem to hold true.
1. Agents really don’t like when you spell their name wrong. (Luckily I’ve never done this and its likely because I hate when my name gets misspelled -- two N’s, seriously, how hard is that?)
2. For every 100 queries sent (very approximately), one will want to publish you.
3. Agencies have all kinds of creative ways to tell an author to go pound sand.
Yesterday I received my fourth different type of communication from an agent. So far, I have received rejections in the form of a teeny slip of paper attached to my own original query, a handwritten note scrawled at the top of my original query, an email that had been sent months after my snail mail query (then it was printed out with a quick handwritten note and sent back in my SASE), and a postcard (the one pictured above, I just changed the info to protect the innocent but the wording is as I received it).
Not to mention all the eRejections but they aren’t as creative.
Oh yeah, but there was that one…that one agent so far who saw the same potential in my work that I see. The agency that requested the first two chapters. I don’t know if that will be my agent or agency, I probably won’t hear from them for another two months either way, but just the request alone leads me to believe I must be doing something right.
There is a lot of work involved in querying and so far I’ve only done about a quarter of what I will likely need to do. In my quest to find the perfect agent I’m starting small -- researching and submitting to those who require nothing more than the query letter in email. Next will be those who take a simple query via snail mail. After that I will need to start paying a little more for postage as the requests differ wildly from agent to agent.
Some want as much as a query, 10-20 page synopsis and the first three chapters. And that’s just to get a foot in the door! It isn’t that I don’t want to do it, in fact if the agent above who requested two chapters via email asks me to ship out my completed manuscript where do you think I’ll be within twenty minutes?
Well, barring weather of course.
Speaking of the weather, Boston is doing a pretty good job of reminding me of one of the reasons why I so desperately want to get out of here this year. Two storms of eighteen inches of snow in as many weeks, stuck in yesterday, and now another potential whopper on Friday. Yes, I am counting down the minutes until we leave for the Valley of the Sun!
The funny thing though is that I keep thinking, as long as I’m trapped inside I might as well make good use of that time. So this is the time I’m spending getting to know agencies and formatting my queries. Next month, however, I made myself a promise that no matter where I was in the query process for Ripple the Twine, I’d get back to my second manuscript re-writes.
Bet you all thought I forgot about my second NaNo win didn’t you? Yeah, well, there were days I really wanted to forget it, so I can appreciate that. But overall I think the bones are there for a really funny and well written story. It’s just that I need to completely re-write it to get there.
Well maybe not all of it, I might even keep the attack of the killer zombies scene but she definitely can’t be a blogger anymore and the whole love triangle thing needs to happen with a completely different guy. Oh and I really need to beef up her mother’s character but she can’t be the evil one, I need to make that a random co-worker. Who I will have to write in now. But she is still going to suffer from post traumatic stress amnesia. It’s kind of integral to the entire plot.
The plot that formed in my head the last week of November but never quite made it to the page.
About three weeks into NaNo I had the most brilliant idea for how I could give her a happy ending even though she had been hit by a bus, divorced from her high school sweetheart and sexually harassed online. Of course half of that had to change but keeping with the majority of her back story, etc. I couldn’t wait to write it!
After I left her in a cold dark place to ruminate over all her missteps for a while.
And by ‘her’ I of course mean me.
And by ‘missteps’ I of course mean all those plot bunnies.
If nothing else, this writing thing sure is a wild ride full of millions of dull and pathetic moments of boredom and repetition…and I am loving every single minute of it.