Archive for Submissions

Should four months with an editor be long enough?

So, my manuscript has been with an editor for almost four months now and I haven’t heard back. No rejection, but no request for a complete either. We know which one I’m hoping for, and we know which one I almost expect to receive…however, I’m still nervous about sending a follow-up. But, I know I’d rather have an answer sooner rather than later, regardless, so that I can plan how I’m going to proceed with submissions.

How long do you usually wait before you send a follow-up?

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Synopsis Burnout

I’ve spent nearly three weeks writing a synopsis, and I’m tired. I haven’t polished it; I haven’t revised. I’m not finished, but by tonight I will be.

Sometimes, there are no great epiphanies. A character changes in lots of small, seemingly insubstantial ways that accumulate over the course of a story to make the ending possible. He (She) would or wouldn’t have reacted a certain way in the beginning, but by the end everything is in place.

How does one show this in a five page synopsis that’s meant to cover all the high points of a story, tell all the bits that matter, and still have room for everything else? Huh?

I’ve read so many articles and listened to so many tapes on how to write a selling synopsis that I was sick of the whole process months before I ever sat down to write this one. Maybe I know too much now, but I don’t remember my synopsis for my last book being this excruciating to write.

I’ll finish this tonight, even if it’s with the attitude to just get the thing written. No excuses. No compromise.

And no deletion upon completion allowed. ;-)


Conference Hangover

I’m feeling bittersweet this week, now that I’ve made it past conference and coped with illness. I became sick Thursday night before last and still managed to make it to Knoxville for the SMRW Mt. Laurel Conference. I was sick the entire time I was there, and for three days afterwards, but I’m mostly back to normal now. :-)

Conference was good to me–I had multiple requests for my manuscript (completed just before conference, and probably the reason behind the bittersweet feeling plaguing me)–but I find it difficult to be particularly happy about the requests. I’ve heard too many stories where people say, “Oh, they’ll ask for anything at a conference.” Considering how badly I flubbed up one of my pitches (and the fact that, yes, the agent still asked for a partial) I’m of a mind to believe it.

The thing is, I’m nervous around people I don’t know well (very, very well). I can’t do small talk and I tried, and I think that’s where I went wrong. Once I’d lost my grip on my thoughts, I never got it back. However, this particular agent was nice about it, and I came away feeling not-quite-humiliated. ;-)

Anyway, I haven’t pushed myself to get my stuff out. I figure two/three weeks is good. Since the book is so freshly finished, I feel the time to go over things and tweak is well spent. My worst nightmare is to send something out in a rush and ruin my chances with someone because of an easily avoidable oversight.

I’m feeling lazy, and I don’t particularly want to rush this time anyway. I don’t know. Maybe it’s conference hangover. ;-)


The “Boring” Stuff

Okay, I just read my last post, and thank goodness I didn’t say anything too embarrassing. ;-)

Today, I had the commute, and instead of letting myself drive comatose, I plotted. It’s interesting the kinds of things a person can come up with in an hour, but I am trying to remember Elmore Leonard’s words, paraphrasing here: I try to leave out the parts people skip.

Leave out the boring parts, in other words. It makes for a much tighter story. :-)

Something I read in Lawrence Block’s Telling Lies for Fun & Profit has stuck with me this last week. “Submit relentlessly” he says. It kinda makes me feel guilty that I only submitted my last book to about 4 people before I set it aside. It was necessary though, because I discovered a major problem with the beginning that I must fix before I send it out again–and yes, I will send it out again!

But there’s the whole wanting to finish my current project before I go back to the previous. Unfortunately, the current project is taking much longer than I’d planned!

I’ve recently made some resolutions and I feel good about them. Change is difficult, much more difficult in real life than in fiction, I believe. But I intend to take this seriously, and we’ll see how I’m doing in a few weeks.