Monday, August 07, 2006

A year of querying

It has been just over a year since I completed "The Wings of Winter" and set out to begin the agent query quest.

I must admit to a large degree of naivete, but I did think I would obtain agency representation without too much difficulty.

Perhaps when the odds are so long, one must hold onto belief and hope.

I year, 48 queries, 30 rejections. That leaves 18 outstanding, some from a year ago, a bunch from last winter.

Likely some of the outliers are rejections--several agents only respond to e-queries *if* they are interested. I decided that I would forgo the convenience of e-queries for the closure of a slim envelope with a 'sorry, not right for us' on it.

Do I experience a pang of disappointment when I get a rejection letter? Of course--I can't imagine who wouldn't. But I am not ready to slit my wrists over my keyboard or stop writing.

Nor will I chuck "Wings" under the (metaphorical) bed. Writing a good query has been a process. I am still learning.

I am still learning the craft of writing.

My first draft of "MindBlind" is significantly better than the first draft of "Wings."

I've been able to take everything I've learned writing "Wings" and translate it to the new project. Dialogue is sharper, I (think!) I've overcome my tendency to use the dreaded comma splice, and I've learned to outline more fully.

I've edited "Wings", paring down what was not needed, sharpening the prose, and focusing on the main characters and conflicts. It's now down to 125K from a first draft of well over 150K. And I'm starting to see that it is a YA story, as its main story arc is one of coming of age/growing into power. 6 more queries will hit the mailbox tomorrow.

I'm on target to finish "MindBlind" by the end of August. Sometime in the fall, if I haven't gotten any positive response for "Wings", I will lay it aside for a while and query for "MindBlind."

I'm getting that familiar tickle in the back of my head when a story is trying to emerge. Next project--"The House of Many Doors," a YA horror novel.

I do have faith that one of these stories will strike a chord with an agent, a publisher, and become one of the lucky ones to make it to print.

In the meanwhile, I continue to write.

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