I have been discouraged for a while. I didn't think my query was good enough, and I'd received alot of rejection. Something got into me today, and I rewrote it on a whim. I made it shorter, more to the point. I submitted it this morning to two more agents via email, along with the first 5 pages, and one has already responded requesting additional materials!! I am so happy, I literally am crying. Just to know that finally I did something that got someone interested, it feels like a huge accomplishment, and I wanted to share it with you all. Even though it is just a small step, to me, it's leaps and bounds from failing english classes and spending hours upon hours being tutored after school because of my dyslexia. I pray and hope this is just the first of many steps to publication.
I haven't been on for a while. I've stepped away from the obsessing and writing for a while as I wait for my queries to come back. Thus far, all rejections. I sent out specific queries for each agency, and I made sure to change up my description on each one, and I guess I've yet to get the right formula. The latest rejection I received in the mail yesterday. It was from the agent, er, let me edit that, the assistant to the agent that I really wanted saying "uh, no." So I was disappointed. But, as the saying goes "try try again" and that I will. I'm going to the library today, and I'm going to pick up some books on screen plays. Everyone that has read my novel says it reads like a movie, and that I should pursue writing the screenplay for it, so why not? What do I have to lose, right? I found some scripts online today, and I'm reading those, I made sure to pick some movies that I've seen a few times each so that I can not only see how it's written, but have a visual in my head on how that was translated on to the screen. I've piddled with my first chapter, and made some changes already that would make it better for a movie. Such as, my main character is orphaned in the prologue, but in the book, this is just written, there isn't an actual scene of it happening, so in a movie, I would need to make it shown. And that was pretty doable. I write a lot of action and dialogue, and I tend to show, not tell (other than that little fact I just talked about) so I don't think this task will be to very difficult for me. It's just more learning the mechanics of it, the formatting and what not. Also, I'll have to look into how submissions go with screenplays rather than novels. I'm sure there are some differences there. Either way, that's what I've been up to since I've been off here, just waiting, and receiving rejection.
I know people mean well when they say "I didn't expect your novel to be like this," in regards to the length, but I still find it slightly offensive. Apparently, for the almost year I spent writing it, my family and friends thought I was writing a short story. When they learn it is 68,000 words long, thier jaws drop (and then I get all defensive saying a REAL novel is more along the lines of 80k, but romances can be shorter. They then look at me like I'm nuts...) Do they really think I'm going to spend all this time working on some sort of essay? My mother in law told me she was writing a novel too, saying hers was so great she could win competitions if she entered it, and insinuating that it was far superior to mine, even though she'd never read it nor been given the plot. Turns out, her 'novel' is about three pages long...literally.
Also, since I'm griping today, do people really feel the need to read my story and say "Wow, I didn't expect it to be so good!" I mean really folks, that is the most back handed compliment ever. So you thought I was going to suck? Thanks. On the plus side, i should be happy that it's so enjoyable for people to read. They all want it to be longer, saying it was like being in the small town with the characters and they want it to keep going. Now, I've thought about writing a sequel, but that's not my gig. I told this set of characters story, and it's closed. I am considering doing something that would be set like 20 years or so in the future and it could follow the children who would then be grown. But I already had a couple of other sets of plans for my next project, so I may distance myself from this story and move on for a while. The biggest comparisions my novel is getting would be to movies like "Steel Magnolias" and "Sweet home Alabama", along with a Nicholas Sparks kind of vibe. Now looking on it, I see where they are coming from. It's a totally different plot, but it has that kind of feel. Maybe I should put that in my query. haha "You want to make some money ala Sparks and Steel Magnolias? Pick up my novel!" Just kidding. Anyway, I have made it a point in life lately not to complain and just see the bright side of things, but I was having a moment today, and I thought I'd ventblog a little. I'm sure there are others out there that recieve these same comments and find them just as annoying.
Sing to the tune from Star Wars:
I am done done done done done, done done done, done done done done done, done done done!! (and I am also a nerd apparently.)
I finished the novel!! Yeah me!
It took 11 months, 68,000 words (yes, I know, not the standard 80k, but I went for quality over quantity) 337 pages, and a total of about 4 months worth of "writers procrastination".
But I am done. Just needs a few reviews and an edit and I may try and send it out. So, I guess while folks read it, I'll work on my query letter. How do you condense a story that spans ten years into one sentence? That may be the most diffcult thing.
But anyway, yeah me!!
(is it normal to feel kinda sad? I don't know, the story is well rounded, theres nothing left to add, but I'm kinda sad that it's over. Hm, maybe I'm the only one who feels this when they complete a project.)
Well, I thought perhaps it was time for an update. I haven't written a word since my last blog, and I don't feel bad about it. (okay, maybe a word, but not many, and not in any particular order) It has given me time to reflect and ponder what needs to go in, what needs to be changed. As some of you may know, my novel is broken into two books, and I had someone read the entire first book, along with two chapters from the second book, and I received a wonderful review. The things I meant to be funny, shockingly, made them laugh out loud. The characters I wanted to be despised were taken that way, the ones I wanted to be loved, were loved. The best part was, when they finsihed reading, they got mad that I didnt let them finish the book. The book is essentially complete, it could be read as is, at 70,000 words. However, there are some things I think need to go in, and some scenes that need to be elaborated to make it even better. Now that the weather has turned cold, and things are slowing down for my family, I should be able to find more time to write and to complete it. I cant wait to let some more people read it, and see thier reaction. So far, everyone has enjoyed it. I mean, it's not the greatest work of all time, but it's an entertaining story that you can get attached too. And that's all I wanted to accomplish with my first try. So, Happy Holidays, I hope my next entry will be about how I finally wrote the last word. (on the first draft...)
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