Sunday, June 29, 2014

Decisions, decisions

I have been struggling with writing ADD lately, and goodness, I am no use when my focus is so split. I've been working on Book one edits, and all the things that go along with seeking publication (query, log line, synopsis, blurb), Book Three draft, My new project, a picture book story I'm entering into a contest, and a collaborative piece that some writers I met on Critique Circle are putting together. And instead of focusing on one thing a day or week, I have been absolutely all over the place.

Finally last week (when my focus was split in every other area of life too) I got organized and prioritized what needed to get done. And I came to a conclusion.

I think it's time to query Book One.

Wow. That feels big and scary to say. Back in the winter I had the goal of starting queries in May (*for those who don't know, a query is a letter you pitch to an agent about your story that is intended to draw them in and request your manuscript, with the hopes that they read your book, fall in love, and convince a publisher to publish it. Sounds easy. From what I've read and heard, it's a horrible experience.)

May came and I knew I wasn't ready (and by me, I mean, my story). But I've been working on edits, I have my second round of first readers going over it right now, and all the assorted things I need to have ready are at least started.

When I realize May wasn't the right time, I bumped it back to August, and I think (by the time we get back from vacation and I tidy things up), August will be it. I had given thought to pushing it back more, but here's what I realized.

This book may never be ready.

It may not be marketable.

I have drafts of the 2nd and third books done, and I will certainly finish them regardless, but if an agent or editor is going to suggest changing the course of my books, then I can let it stop for now.

I don't have to have it perfect, because the truth is, nothing I write will ever be perfect. But I need to pitch Book One, if for no other reason than to go through the process and learn. I'm hoping that I'll get feedback. Maybe my query will need adjusting. Maybe my entire book will need adjusting. Hopefully someone will give me an idea of what I can do to make it better.

In the meantime, I can work on something else. And that's the whole point; write. Write more. Write better. I already have a brand new fantasy draft in progress, and still drafts of Book 2 and 3 that need a lot of revision.

I think I've missed writing. Because mostly lately I've been working on outlines and synopses and queries, and while those are necessary, they're not as fun as writing a story. And man oh man, have I missed creating a story. I think if Book One was out there and I had 6-8 weeks to wait for replies (as that is the normal time), then it would free me up to work on something new. To write something new.

So, August. I have my list of agents (in order of how much I love them and think they would be a good fit for me). The query needs slight tweaking, the synopsis is decent. I need to polish the manuscript, and I do want to rewrite the first chapter to make it better---as best that it can be.

And then there it will go. I will send it off to agent land, pray many prayers, try to grow thick skin, and write a brand new story.

Which is why I want to get an agent. Because man, the idea of writing stories as a job??  Well, that would be so amazing.

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