tell you that I’ve enjoyed writing since I was very young.
of novel writing as a career is in the summer of 2011. After having spent years in
college studying Graphic Design and Art, I could no longer fight a desire to
write. With a story idea I couldn’t shake, I sat down and pounded out around
75,000 words and I had a novel.
unlike many aspiring writers, I dreamed that it was going to be well received
because of the high-concept and imaginative qualities. So pleased with the
dedication I had poured into the story, I began to research what it would take
to publish my work. That’s right… I immediately jumped into looking at agents
before even having a family member look the manuscript over.
me. For years I had run from the profession, for reasons that aren’t relevant
to this post. What is important is that I knew at that point that writing is
something I craved. There was such a fulfillment and creative release that came
from producing a book that I knew I needed to keep doing it.
and realized I needed to determine specifically in what genre I would pitch my
novel. Immediately I noticed agent and author blogs stressed that it was
important of having it proofed if not by an editor than at least by family and
friends. In order to gain representation from an editor or an agent I also
realized I needed to draft a query letter and synopsis. Then I saw the
self-publishing ebook options available and it wasn’t long before I was
overwhelmed. There I was thinking writing 75,000 words was some impressive
thing without even knowing what I was getting into.
how difficult writing and publishing a book can be, but that it was all worth
the effort because of my love for words as well as the creation of people and
and went to a family member who professionally edits. She looked at the first
three chapters and sent that back so I could start querying. Drafting the query
spent a couple months querying, not getting any bites. I also received the
edited version of the manuscript back from my family member who had been kind
enough to edit the entire thing.
a kind agent at Writer’s House, but many form rejections across the board.
is to cling tight to any good responses to my work and happily receive
criticism with the knowledge that it leads to improvement.
novel and I became bogged down with my senior year of college, graduation and
of course paying the bills.
determined to keep writing.
day in your life.”
novel. This time around, I knew there needed to be many revisions before anyone
else would view it. I spent hours and hours crafting the plot and world. A
twenty page outline had been worked up before I even typed the first word of
the manuscript. Printing a proof was shockingly expensive, but editing the
paper version made a huge difference. I got feedback from two people close to
me, and implemented some changes, then sent it off. I also took the time to
redesign my website and start up my own blog which many agents recommend.
novel concept, and wanted to read more so they could consider representing it. If
I recall correctly, I literally stopped breathing for a minute or so and ran
around the room in a circle. Now a partial manuscript request by no means guarantees
representation, but it is certainly encouraging no matter how it is sliced.
course I would have been thrilled to gain her representation, but this was a
great lesson that I will take with me as I continue on my journey. As I sent
out those first query letters, there were a couple things about the manuscript
that a little voice in my head told me weren’t quite right. I fought the voice,
insisting the query letter and concept were good enough. The fact that she
requested the novel showed that my query letter and concept were likable, but
the opening pages of my book just were not strong enough. I had suspected this
changes” as I like to call them and send it back out to family and friends for
to the agents again. That’s where I’m at on the novel writing road and what I’ve
learned! There have been ups and downs, but all molding experiences. I’m excited to continue growing.
Puzzle Piece series, here are the links: