Thursday, January 17, 2008

the good news and the bad news

First, good news! I've got 3 partials out, and today the agent who requested the first of those three emailed back and said she wanted to see more!

(Intermission for Snoopy dancing!)

But (and you knew there was a but, right?) before I send her more, she wants some changes. She said she really liked a lot of stuff, but had some plot issues. Everything she brought up was well reasoned and appropriate. I have no doubts the changes will improve the novel, and I can't express how awesome it was to have someone who is a big agent in Fantasy talking to me about MY novel with the words "there's a lot I like"... I mean, that's going on my wall, right there! But, I'm so nervous about the changes. She was pretty specific about what she wanted, and I think I know how I could do it, but what if I fuck it up? What if I do all this work and she's like "on second thought, no thanks."

Of course, that could happen, but if I don't make the changes, she won't request it at all. She obviously sees something there, or she wouldn't be putting time into asking for changes. Time seems to be an agent's most valuable resource, and if she's willing to invest it in my book, then the least I can do is go at her changes whole heartedly.

Mostly, I'm afraid that I'm going to shoot myself in the foot. I've wanted this for so long, my confidence in my own abilities is shaken, and that won't do at all. After all, it's my story! If anyone can fix it, I can.

All this author nonsense is turning me into an obsessive twitch-case. Believe it or not, I'm NORMALLY very laid back.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

who knew I had it in me?

And while the queries for Novel 2 languish under piles of their brethren in lit agent inboxes, I start a new story.

It's something I haven't done before, a love story. Novel 1 had a side romance, but it got lost in THE END OF THE WORLD, which was slightly more pressing at the time. Novel 2 had no romance at all - not even so much as a weighted moment or longing glance. I've tried to write love stories before, but they always putter out. I thought it was because I'm not a romantic at heart, and I don't find love stories to be interesting in and of themselves. But then I look at my obsessive shipping of certain couples, and I realize that's bollocks. I just hadn't found the right story yet.

Around Christmas, the right story found me. Wonked me upside the head and broke open like a plot piƱata, more accurately. All the candy scenes landed in more or less the right order, and I knew, I KNEW I had to write this. I knew it would take a lot longer than anything I'd done before, and I knew it would be a total bitch to write, yet I'm certain, if I can find that timbre I'm looking for, this will be the best thing I've ever done.

A week later and I'm 7000 words in, 5000 of which were written last weekend in a fit of joy I've never experienced in my writing before. I know it won't last. This novel, like every novel, will hit a rock, or a whole mountain range, and there will be issues, days when I loathe it, but, for this moment, I adore every the story with a passion I didn't think I had in me, and it's such a wonderful, strange, beautiful feeling.

At a time in my life when I spend 23 of my 24 hours obsessing over publication, a moment of writing just for the sheer joy of it is worth more than words could say. This is why I write. Sometimes it takes a sound thrashing to get me to remember of that.

Monday, January 7, 2008

I hate synopsisesessses

I also hate the word "synopsis," moving on.

By the end of December, I finally got a query I was pretty happy with, but, after days of trying, no synopsis worth a damn. So I queried agents that didn't require a synopsis (a temporary solution), and, lo and behold, I get 2 partial requests (YAY!), both of which wanted a synopsis (BOO!). So I sat down and wrote one in a night, and it's horrible as I knew it would be, but it works. I wrote a much funnier, wittier one, but it was seven pages long. My rule of thumb is that you can go on for as long as you're entertaining, but that no one is as entertaining as they think they are, so keep it short. Seven pages, while entertaining (to me, at least), was not short. So I chopped it and made a 3 page version, which is terrible, but might just get the job done.

This let me query a whole glut of new agents. Right now I've sent queries to about 1/2 the people on my agent list. If they all say no, I guess I'll just go find some publishers who take unagented submissions. This feels like horrible failure to me, but I really love this book. I love the characters so much, I couldn't stand sticking them in the drawer. So I'll keep trying, for their sake if not mine.

But we've only had 3 rejections to date, so there's still plenty more to go!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Right on schedule!

Queries are out!

UPDATE - 1/8
One more rejection, one more query out!

Queries sent: 14
Rejections: 4
Partials: 2

Moving along with Novel 3. Stop hovering, Rachel, and write your damn book.