I apologize for the lack of blogging: I was forced to maintain strict radio silence while querying, which, awesome segue, is what I’m going to write about today.
It was a snowy day, and some business needed my attention.
So, you actually finished that novel. It might’ve taken a month or a decade and it’s all well and good. Pat yourself on the back, celebrate, and then bring out the hedge-clippers, ‘cuz it’s EDITIN’ TIME! You liked that character? Too bad, he’s taking away from this scene’s momentum!!! But, but, that line was brilliant, Pulitzer-worthy stuff… It didn’t make sense in context, KILL IT.
*Whew* 23rd draft accomplished, nameless author cracks a weary smile. Now the novel’s done. It’s polished, trimmed, and happy. You’re finished, right? Time to rake in the dough.
If you actually are willing to prostitute your brainchild for cash money, there’s still a few steps of the process to get through. Times were that Average Joe could mail his manuscript to a publishing house, who could steal it and print it or maybe pay him too. Publishing houses sorted through the ‘slush pile’ of manuscripts sent to them and picked up the ones they deemed fit to print. So, just send your novel to a publishing house, right?
Ha. Gotcha again.
Actually, agents have stepped into the shoes of those slush pile sorters (they have a great episode on “Dirty Jobs” *not really*) and many unagented manuscripts–genius or other–are discarded by publishers.
So, find an agent willing to represent your book, find an editor at a publisher willing to pore over it, and then hopefully publish it.
Aaaaaaaand now it’s time to retire on the royalties… JUST KIDDING–time to write *maniacal laughter* BOOK #2…
Hey, I thought you were gonna talk about queries! Yeah, gettin’ there.
So….. to land an agent, you need a thing called a ‘query’. The query is your novel’s cover letter in its job application. It’s at once a bio and a letter and a synopsis, and is just as important as your novel, because it’s your novel’s face. Even if your prose would make McCarthy cry with jealousy, your book will not see the light of day without a well-crafted query. So, for all you aspiring writers out yonder, writing the books is important, but learning how to market yourself and your product is just as much so.
If you were wondering, here’s my synopsis:
“This is the tale of Taveol, a crippled, aging mercenary whose mind is now his greatest asset. His refuge: an isolated city, frozen and desolate, where not even the ghosts of his past can haunt him. When Taveol rescues and harbors a wounded Fae woman, staying alive becomes an increasingly complex task in the face of the oncoming racial cleansing imposed by the Sons of Dawn.
Aerwyn, as Taveol calls this woman, is afflicted by a multiple personality disorder and has no memories of her own. Together, the two struggle to elude the fanatic armies of vindictive Lord-Commander Gareth Flynt, the man responsible for crippling Taveol. To stop the holy genocide, Taveol and Aerwyn ally themselves with the Fae guerrilla, the Valkræ.
Their arrival to the subterranean Fae city is far from a welcome one as their pasts’ emerging details immediately set them at odds with the Valkræ leadership. Undermined and antagonized at every turn, Taveol proves his worth and pursues his revenge while toeing the line of his allies’ prejudice against him.
The impending battle, upon which the fate of an entire culture hinges, draws near as Taveol’s relationship with Aerwyn deepens. Just before the most critical move is made, alliances fail and promises are betrayed. With Aerwyn captured, possibly dead, and the Valkræ crumbling around him, Taveol puts aside his vengeance and joins the remaining Fae in a desperate bid for survival.
Encircled by enemies old and new, Taveol must choose to either save himself before his crippled body fails or risk everything for the culture and people he has grown to love.”
Can you summarize your 1,948,239-word fantasy epic in a page? Try it–it’ll make you look at your story in a different way than ever before. After all: writing tight builds chops.
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