Browse Tag by humor
Writing

This is the Start of Something New

I AM WORKING ON A (NEW) NOVEL.

But let me backtrack.

I usually don’t talk about works-in-progress because I have this superstition that any mention of the story will jinx it. This isn’t a completely irrational fear. There have been many times where a story is not finished, the characters not real enough, and the concept not fully developed. I make the mistake of talking about the project. And then my excitement over it sizzles.

The other day, I had just turned in a draft (TO MY AGENT. I still can’t believe I can write words like that, and they’re actually true and not just made up in my head like most of my writing usually is) and felt a bit down. The usual project hangover you get when something is finished and you’re lost in limbo not knowing what to work on next.

Then I started reading AUTHOR IN PROGRESS by the makers of Writers Unboxed. The book is great so far (I’m only 25% in) but the editors encourage aspiring writers to announce to the world that they’re working on a novel, even if their first instinct is to keep it a secret. My reasoning for keeping it to myself is that I have this vision that when the novel enters the world, it will be with as much elegance and grace as a debutante being presented to the ton for the Season. All dressed up and pretty and ripe for the plucking.

And then I remembered what happened the last time I did that. I kept CHRONICLES OF MEDES a secret, working on it behind the scenes for more than 3 years. When I finally told my friends and family that I’d received representation for it, they were like, “You were working on a novel?” I mean, they were happy for me, but it didn’t have quite the congratulatory awesomeness that I’d expected. It wasn’t their fault. It was my own. I felt like I’d short-changed my characters by not announcing them to the world when they were first born.

So I’m scrapping my usual protocol, and proclaiming that I AM WORKING ON A (NEW) NOVEL!

But that’s all I’m going to say about it. And now the world knows and I can’t take it back.

Agents

How to “Land” a Literary Agent: Based on a True Story

A Step by Step Guide

Spend 3 years writing your novel.

1

Research agents you’d like to work with.

3

Research how to write a query letter.

2

Realize your book is not ready. Spend another year re-writing and revising.

4

Query agents for a year.

5

Receive rejections.

6

Revise.

7

Query more agents.

8

Eventually get a request for a full.

9

Eventually get more requests for a full.

10

Send. Try not to go crazy. Remain Calm.

11

Write another novel.

12

Wait some more.

13

Receive email from an agent. Get the stress tingles. Try not to get hopes up. Much research over what the phrase “Do you have time to chat?” really means.

14

Discuss book. Wondering, daydreaming, over-analyzing ensues.

15

Receive offer of representation.

16

Try not to cry/scream/shout/dance/run/panic/pass out.

19

Talk to other agents who had the full, decide on the one who loves your characters and story the most.

18

Officially accept representation.

17