Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Waiting Game

I went to the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference in July with two goals.  I wanted to know if my book was ready; where the quality of structure and writing was in relation to books getting published. My other goal was to find a way forward.  I pitched The Januarium to nine agents and two acquiring editors at the PNWA conference.  It’s been a month and a half since I sent out my last submission.  How’s the manuscript doing?

Januarium Scorecard

Maybe, Edit and Resubmit
No response yet

Is the Story Ready?
Mmmmaybe.  According to feedback I’m getting from agents, probably.  Three rejection letters have mentioned specifically that the writing is good.  One agent even said expected sell, just that she wouldn’t be the one to sell it. I’m not through the gate yet, but the gatekeepers seem friendly enough.  My inner gamer hopes my Charisma is high enough, and wonders what die I should use for an influence roll.  But, seriously, the feedback I’m getting is really encouraging.  Not, revise for pacing, or your characters are flat.  So, while there are always things to improve, I feel like goal one is met.  I’m learning The Januarium stands pretty well against books that are getting picked up for publication. 

The Way Forward
See that 1 in the Maybe column?  One agent sent me back all my copy with extensive notes, and asked to see a revision.  I’m a week out from having it done.  The main assignment was to get a better grip on how good sci-fi opens, specifically where in the story the unique mechanics of the alternative universe are introduced.  Turns out right up front is the best answer, and I’ve added two letters between the main character’s father and uncle as a preface.  I hope it’s enough.  But for now, goal two is met.

One Story the Numbers Don’t Tell
There were three agents in particular that felt like the best matches for The Januarium.  One was the first I submitted to, and the first I heard back from.  She’s the Resubmit.  The other two were the submissions I sent out last, and they wanted the whole manuscript.  So as the responses trickle in and the No numbers stack up, I’m holding out hope for those last two.  As the agent who said she’d be keeping an eye out for my book deal reminded me, all it takes is one yes.

In the meantime, I’m waiting, and flirting with ideas for novel #2.  Anybody have good resources on junk DNA?

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