Journal

Confession, Surprise, Warning, and Encouragement

So the confession

This November is the 1st anniversary of my current novel. It had nothing to do with Nanowrimo, but my impending 29th birthday. Now, my 30th birthday is two weeks away.

I’ve completed my first draft and it’s absolutely dreadful. I think there are 3 novels in there instead of one.

That wasn’t entirely unexpected. My first drafts are always messy. I love the editing process. It’s like chiseling the real story out of the marble block. It’s where the magic starts to happen.

In its current state, this novel needs a serious rewrite. I’ve got a plan for handling the revisions, but it will take a significant amount of time.

Why is this a problem?

The world is full of surprises…

In the last month I’ve had 2 agent requests for sample chapters of the novel. One from the conference, which I mentioned earlier, and another straight out of the blue.

I hadn’t sent out any queries. At first I thought it must be spam, but I checked out the agency, talked to some people, and verified that it was legitimate. The request was based off of writing someone had seen online.

How often does that happen? I have no idea.

And then I started to panic because I’ve got nothing to send out. I just pitched an agent a novel that doesn’t quite exist, and requested a few more weeks from the other!

Here’s a warning…

You never know who may stumble across your work online. Do with this warning what you may, but please make sure you have listed an email address on your blog, or provide an easy way to contact you.

Now for some encouragement…

To all you Serial Central friends, #FridayFlash, and #TuesdaySerial folk, it’s not for nothing.

Keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to share your writing with the world. It doesn’t have to be an entire novel, but it’s good to put something out there, and writing regularly on your blog shows that you have a professional attitude towards the craft.

And if it’s a bit quiet round here…

It’s because I’m working like mad to get this novel into shape. I’m looking forward to 30. I have a feeling it will be a good year.

Do you have any good news stories to share? What are you working on? I’d love to hear!

22 Comments

  1. Woot woot! “How often does that happen?” LIKE NEVER! GO YOU!!!!

    And good reminder about the email address. Mine is in my bio, but people seem to have trouble finding it. Now if I could just figure out where to put it…

    1. Hmm, maybe you could put a contact link somewhere on the main page, along with your bio, writing, and links icons? I wouldn’t have thought about checking the bio for your email address, though I did eventually find it with some poking around 🙂

      1. LOL that’s the web designer talking. Yeah, it would look kind of unbalanced… but usability trumps design? 😉 Would hate for you to miss any opportunities because someone couldn’t find your email address…

  2. That’s fantastic news and well done on hitting the one year mark – you’re further in than you are out now, might as well finish the thing. I may be completely wrong but I reckon an agent will be investing in the potential of your work, not a preformed masterpiece. Plus they can probably give a more educated steer on what needs to be done to improve your novel.

    It’s funny, the approaching 3 0 was one of the motivators for my novel as well. I fully intend on having some sort of mental episode the moment I hit 30.

    1. Yup, I fully intend to finish this as soon as I can. I hope you’re right 🙂

      Mmm my 20’s have been a bit of a roller coaster, so I’m looking forward to the next (more settled) decade. Some of my pals cried… I didn’t have any sympathy. hehe.

  3. You most certainly are born under a major lucky star, my dear. Chisel it out and see where you go. 🙂 I think I need to make my e-mail stand out a bit, too, but with NaNo coming who knows when I will be able to sit down and do it properly.

  4. So… pick your brain on “e-mail contacts”. I don’t have an e-mail contact listed anywhere on this page (though everyone whose blogs I’ve commented on have at least one of my e-mails). The thing is… the e-mail that I have that’s associated with my blog… ultimately that’s not the e-mail I want to use for correspondance with agents, editors, etc. That e-mail isn’t the most “professional”-looking (it doesn’t contain anything remotely resembling my name, nor my “nom-de-plume”). For that purpose, I’d rather use my gmail address, which does contain my name. At the same time… I dont’ want that address to be inundated with spam, as it assuredly will if I post the e-mail to some page on my blog… So… do you think it’s valide to use the format of “emailaddress (at) domain (dot) com” as I’ve seen it done elsewhere, with the “@” and “.” spelled out? It’s less convenient… but most people these days don’t click e-mail links anyway…. because they don’t have an e-mail client on their machines. We all use webmail in this day and age. So… is the slight inconvenience acceptable for spam-avoidance? Or should we as writers make ourselves more accessible, regardless of the risk?

    Alas… when I turned 30 (very recently)… I had nothing, novel-wise, to show for my efforts. I’d essentially put my long-time novel project on indefinite hold until I had time in my schedule to write, and I’d not yet fully fleshed out the new novel project that I’ve recently started doing background development work for (which is still in very preliminary stages). I’ve been much more pre-occupied in my 30th year with school and with B.T. I hope, when I turn 31, that I’ll be able to focus more on writing, and that I’ll actually get that first novel finished!

    1. I had an online shop in the past, so I’ve experimented with different ways of listing my email address. First I just listed it normally, because most businesses do not obsfucate list their email addresses, but yes I got a ton of spam (and still keep getting it). Another thing I tried was turning my email address into an image file (.gif) so it wasn’t searchable by bots. That worked really well. It wasn’t clickable, but it was easy to read and find under my contact link. Now with WordPress I’ve switched to a web form contact, so my email is not listed explicitly. I’m not sure this is the best option out of the 3. I always worry that some forms may get lost in space.

      I wondered about your email name. 🙂 Using your gmail seems to be acceptable as long as it’s not something cutesy. Can’t get rid of spam entirely, but I hope this helps!

      Ahh but you don’t have nothing to show. You have your blog and I’d say that’s a good step forwards. I’m sure you’ll get it done when you finally have the time.

      1. Yeah, that’s why the blog exists. It was something to get me writing regularly again, but was less of a committment, emotionally and mentally, than going all-in on novel or short-story writing. It’s served that purpose reasonably well.

        Yeah, that e-mail address is a funny story. Actually it’s not that funny… but there is a story behind the name. Started using it back in 1999… I was still pretty new to e-mail, and it was my first e-mail address (except for the school-assigned address in college, but the school’s e-mail client was impossible to use, and use some sort of DOS-based interface). A classmate actually set it up for me (we needed to send files back and forth for a class) and was like “What do you want your handle to be? That’s what you’re called online.” And then suggested I name the e-mail after a character in a story or book I had written. And, there you go… something truly random-looking.

      2. Dude…you’re using an 11-year-old email address? 😀

        You know, I’d wondered about the address too. I guess that makes sense. 🙂 Mine is kind of random too, for all of you who’ve seen it. I used it for agenting for a while, but now that I’ve gone with self-agentry, I’ve been using my personal email address. I think it might go over a little better…

  5. Yay! That is so exciting T.S.! I’ve heard about getting contacted through a blog, but I always thought those were fairy tales. LOL. But I guess fairytales can happen, and they can happen to you! I’m so happy actually, you are such a talented writer and you getting closer to publishing, means me getting closer to reading your book. 🙂 Yay and good stuff all around.

    1. Thanks Ollin! The novel I have written might not fit with what these agents want and still may be rejected. I’ll have to see what happens. It is definitely a kick in the pants to get this done though! And it too could happen to you 🙂 They’re not just fairy tales.

  6. Congrats! That is exciting news! It really does show that it’s not for nothing. We do work hard to do what we do and it’s nice to know that there are people out there appreciating it. 🙂

  7. Tessa, this reminds me of my Screenwriting Expo trips! 😉
    I never pitched to anyone (except once to a manager), but I heard stories. Execs kept asking “What else do you have” and poor lady had only one screenplay! Which means:
    NEVER go to a screenwriting event or writers conference to pitch unless you have at least 2 complete works! 😀 Complete as in “ready to go”, not “first draft”! 😉
    I’m sure you can do it, though. Send out that novel and get published!
    Cheering for you!

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