Thursday, June 18, 2009

Confidence Boost

There are times when I feel nothing is going right, and recently, it has been like that. A strange mix of bad luck, poor decision making, and a frustrating inability to combine my life's pleasures with my personal responsibilities.

What I needed was a confidence boost, and I got it.

My novel is pretty much as good as I can get it. It's also at the stage where I don't want to look at it constantly, day in and day out, anymore. I just want to get it published.

It's taken me six years to get to this point. Six years of learning the craft of story telling and all the tricks of the trade. Six years of rewriting chapters, scenes, adding, deleting, tweaking, critiquing, and trying to get it all right.

Having been rejected by countless agents. In fact rejection is a good word, it means I was actually acknowledged, the majority of agents simply ignored my queries and didn't bother to respond.
The problem was, this was the query letter stage. I couldn't even get my foot in the door to have them look at my first chapter!

A few weeks ago, I sought the advice and expertise of an editor. I contacted a relevant and highly recommended website, and was put in touch with several very qualified editors.

The one I chose works from California. We started with the first couple chapters, mainly because I didn't want to pay him a huge sum for the entire book right away, especially if he thought my work was crap.

He really liked it. He described it as a joy to edit and a real page turner. He was excited to be moving on with the story and said that I had learned the craft of writing much more aptly than the majority of writers who approached him. He went on to say there was definitely a publisher somewhere who would be interested in my work. It needed tweaking here and there, and aside from a few commas and reworded sentences, there were only two minor reworking suggestions in the first 10,000 words he looked at.

So there it is. My confidence boost. I'm now researching and contacting publishers instead of agents.
According to many books I've read, this might be a mistake. It's this frustrating catch 22 situation. Agents want authors who've been published. Publishers want authors with agents. What's a guy with a good manuscript and no credentials supposed to do?

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