Sunday, March 18, 2007

Publication Quest

Warning: extremely dull, and terminally boring, post ahead.

The journey began four years and one month ago. Excitement was high as the first words of an epic romance flew across the blank screen. After weeks of research, I had decided to commence a new career as a romance writer.

Despite the nod toward research, my main qualifications for this endeavor were a vague notion that I loved reading and could write a better story than much of what was being published. Are you laughing yet? You're right I was greener than Spring grass.

Six months later, I sent off a query letter and synopsis enthusiastically describing my love story and garnered my first full request. This excitement was followed a few months later by my first form rejection.

Undaunted, I was nearly done with my next book, I tried again. Plainly, I had not aimed at the right publisher, right line, or right editor. The next story would correct these problems. Alas, it too was summarily rejected.

Book three was well underway. One thing was clear, I was hooked on writing. The idea of learning more about writing for publication began to seep in, soon I had a new obsession studying writing craft.

For a modest investment of a dollar a page, I purchased editorial feedback on book two, which had garnered two form rejections. Two months later I had my first critique. The lovely editor dug deep to find two positive comments, good opening hook and the point of view was well handled. This was remarkable, considering I'd never heard of POV . . .

The lovely editor had reading suggestions, as soon as I emerged from my pity party I began to read and study, following the editorial suggestions like a new convert to a obscure religion.

I joined critique groups. I begged, pleaded and whined for critiques. I tried revising with indifferent results. I tried writing new stories, only to see their flaws before they were a third complete.

I read lots of writing advice, and tried to evaluate conflicting opinions.

A contest blurb caught my eye and I worked feverishly to get a new story done to meet the entry deadline. I learned a lot from that exercise. I could meet a deadline. I need to have a complete story before I can judge, or improve it.

I did not win or place in the contest. But I new met friends who were on the same path.

Eventually, I submitted the revised contest entry manuscript. After three months with no response from the publisher to my initial query letter and synopsis I called. A gracious editorial assistant responded with an invitation to submit a partial. Hope soared. Eleven months later, I received a personalized rejection.

Addicted to writing, I'd completed two more books, and submitted one, while waiting to hear on the prior story.

Four years and one month after that first sentence etched onto the blank screen, I've completed seven manuscripts, submitted seven times, entered five contests and learned a couple of things.

Current submissions: one
Status: waiting to hear from publisher
Time line: three months and counting

To be continued . . .

2 Comments:

Blogger Lori Borrill said...

Evanne, I didn't find this dull or boring in the least. I love to hear how people approached this writing endeavor. We have a number of similar steps in our past, it appears and I somehow made it. I'm certain you will, too.

6:37 AM  
Blogger Evanne said...

Lori, Thanks you made my day.:)

10:34 AM  

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