Oh man! It’s driving me crazy that I missed posting last Wednesday, December 28th. Christmas and guests and running around doing this and that really cut into my writing time. Sorry dear reader!
Kristen Lamb, a writing blogger I follow, says she has four posts ready to go at all times. If I work hard, maybe I can do that and avoid missing a Wednesday post. I plan to spend my afternoon in front of this computer and try to do just that!
Today is the second-to-last day of 2016. At the end of each year, I take stock. I look at my accomplishments, as well as the happy/good and sad/bad personal events of the year. I always set goals for the upcoming year
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So, to get a picture of the writing life accomplishments of moi, I will share some of what’s been going on- as unspectacular as it is.
To date, I’ve sent query letters for THE INK OF TIME to six different agents. A query letter is an introduction. It gives potential agents a sense of what the book is about and includes a short author bio. Query letters need to be well written (no errors) and succinct. The letter’s job is to hook the agent, to get him/her to take a minute to think about the project.
I’m proud of the fact that I’ve gotten feed-back from three of the six agents. I think a 50% take-a-minute-look are pretty good odds. I believe it means I’m on to something with this ol’ story. Of course none of them want/need my project, but hey, it’s a start. In fact, the last agent I queried was on November 29th, so technically it’s not an ‘I'll pass on this’ until I haven’t heard anything from her agency within three months. (Yes, it is a very long process!)
While you may wonder, “Nadine, why only six?” the answer is this. I will not send out a mass mailing. I’ve read enough information to know that doing so would be a waste of my time. Agents want writers (authors!) who have researched and “know” them. So I comb through the internet looking for interviews, blog posts, and whatever else I can find to use in my query letter about that specific agent.
I went to a program where Gary W. Moore, author of Playing with the Enemy spoke of his journey to get published. He sent seventy-two (!) query letters before he got a bite. I think he’s published two more books since then. He’s just a regular guy, living in the Chicago suburbs. If he can do it, so can I!
This year, I’ve learned how to write a synopsis of my novel. The purpose of a synopsis is to tell the WHOLE story in short. It’s not easy to do. I had to decide what information must be included so that it was interesting and had a complete story line. I took my 51,000 word manuscript and created a less than 1,000 word synopsis. GAA!
Last March was the first time I felt ready to send out my story. I found out that every manuscript has to be formatted in the exact same way. There’s actually a formula to follow and luckily, I found a tutorial video on YouTube that I used to format my manuscript. Because agencies are inundated daily by writers wanting representation, something as benign as formatting “irregularities” can get a story thrown in the rejection pile.
In October, I joined a Quad Cities based writing group. That was a very scary move for me. I’m still kind of feeling my way. They’re all very positive, supportive people, but I’m just not totally comfortable yet.
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That’s about it for now. I’m going to keep on keeping on.
Happy New Year!
Until next time,
Be Good to Yourself.