Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Cornucopia-like Post

Happy Day Before Thanksgiving! I've got a lot of writing stuff on my mind. Especially since I'm about to have two shiny days off!

First, NaNoWriMo! 2563 words written... I know, uberly pathetic. Even though I didn't get a complete novel out of NaNoWriMo, I did hatch a brand new sparkly idea for a Middle Grade novel geared towards boys. But with queries and partials and editing The Unicorn Tamer, I have not had the heart or mind to throw into a brand new story. There's still a couple days of November left... maybe I can write a synopsis or something... plotting sounds like fun!

Next, I'd like to mention how it baffles yet inspiries me when I read about writers who are working on multiple novels at the same time. How does one complete such a task and not confuse voices, themes, and genres? Answer = endless creative energy. I am still learning how to channel such energy especially if I'm considering writing (A) the sequel to The Unicorn Tamer, (B) said MG fantasy geared towards boys, and (C) a YA (urban fantasy ?) love story. I want to be a published author and am learning that The Unicorn Tamer may not be It for me (even though I love, love, love the story and characters...) so I can't just query The Unicorn Tamer and then give up... I gotta keep writing and trying, writing and trying...

Sad news bears that totally bummed me out and confused the heck out of me: TW rejected my partial. Over the past couple days, I've been going back n' forth on how honest I want to be on my blog. The problem is, I don't want an agent or editor to stumble upon my blog and become affected by what I report. However, I want to be honest because... this is me.. on this journey and whether or not you're an aspiring writer, you're along for the ride. If you're here to learn something about this whole process, I want to share it with you. So I decided... I'm just gonna wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve and tell you what she told me. *Disclaimer: if you're an agent or editor, please don't let the following information sway your own decision on my query or partial - thank you.

TW said: "While I like the premise, I regret I wasn't as engaged by the narrative voice." Stab, stab, stab the heart and stain the sleeve with blood!


So... first thought: there's something wrong with my narrative voice. That sounds really, really bad. Like I've got some many-letter'd disease that I haven't heard of or understand. How do I make it all better? Well, it's not like a typo or a mis-placed comma or a continuity issue, folks. She basically said that she doesn't like my voice - the storyteller's. Second thought: maybe it's a subjective thing? Maybe TW doesn't like my voice, but some other agent will? Third thought: she's a professional and knows what she's talking about, maybe my writing is flawed, but how do I make my narrative voice more engaging? I would have to re-write the entire book... I wish I had more information to work off of, I wish I could email TW back and ask for advice on ways to improve... Fourth thought: I can't put all my eggs in one book. Fifth thought: I can't give up on The Unicorn Tamer... it deserves to be query'd for at least a year. If I get 3 "don't like your narrative voice" rejections... then I'll brainstorm ways to fix The Unicorn Tamer completely.

Rinse and repeat thoughts.

Annd on to queries... as I've mentioned in a previous post, I've re-written my query letter to try and be... "hookier"... I've sent it off to both my Grammar Fairy and the wonderful Kimberley and the responses were enthusiastic. Over the next couple of days, I'm going to see if I can write an even better query and start drafting my next 5 to 10 letters. Come December 1st (... that's weird to type... it's practically December? Where did most of November go?) I'll send them out. I want to make sure I get them out before Christmas break. I won't be sending any more until after Jan 1st. Hopefully, Santa will give me partial and full requests this year. That's all I really want. Because this is what I just learned: most agents will write you a personal rejection letter if said letter is for a full submission. Even though, yes, that particular rejection is really disheartening because you seem to have gotten so far... it comes with a glimmer of light. A personal rejection letter means they'll let you know what they didn't like which means... editing advice!!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends.


Jill Wheeler said...

I think you should start a new project so you're not sooooo invested (like, this is the end of the world if this story doesn't get published). And I think that just because one agent didn't like our narrative voice doesn't mean that others won't. That's a very subjective thing. *Fingers crossed for you.*

Christine said...

Thanks Jill for the crossed fingers and Happy Thanksgiving to you! Are you a writer too?