If you are on Twitter, last night you saw this:
I cannot even begin to describe what I’m feeling right now. When I was in college, I was told by TWO DIFFERENT PROFESSORS that my writing was pretty much crap–that my favorite genres were stupid. I’m not going to get into a huge debate about what teachers should and shouldn’t do, but, for god’s sake, if you’re going to be a WRITING professor then encourage your students to WRITE.
Yes, draft one of the story that’s been in my head since 2005 is done. The characters that have sat in my head, tapping their feet impatiently, are finally on paper and you know what? I love them just as much on paper as I do in my head.
What happens now, you ask?
Now, I go back and edit a few things, fix some consistency issues, make the writing tighter. 108,000 words, while impressive, might scare a lot of agents and publishers. So, there will be some trim work, some shaving of the fat if you will.
Then my critique partner, the lovely Cassandra Graham, and my husband will start combing through it line by line and giving me much needed feedback – both good and bad. Things I probably missed. I mean, I know these characters as if they were my own children – you don’t – so we have to make sure I’m not throwing stuff out there or making them do things that make perfect sense to me but everyone else is all, “Wait, WHAT?”
THEN, after we have the book polished to a point we are happy with, I will send it to a couple of beta readers with no explanation. Just, “Read this. Tell me if you hate it.”
While beta readers are doing their thing, I’m going to be researching agents and making a list of about ten agents I will query. That is the next big hurdle – querying. For those of you who don’t know, I will write a one-page letter that introduces me, my book, the reasons why I want that agent to represent me and it all needs to be in a fashion that makes the agent firmly believe their life would be amazingly better with my book in it. Some agents ask for sample pages – usually the first 5-10 pages – those are the ones I will focus on since my writing is good. I believe in my writing.
Hear that, college professors? I believe in my writing.
Depending on how queries go will determine the next steps. However, while I’m waiting on query responses, I will write something else. Yes, start a new project. Why? Because 1) I’m not guaranteed this book will be published and 2) the only way to get better at anything is to keep doing it.
I wrote my story. Rumor and Bane and Braeden and William and Nyx and Vala and Ren and Jude are on paper.
Hopefully there is a path that exists for you to meet them someday as well.
The journey continues!