Posts filed under Agent Search

A Decent Proposal

I've been squirreling away at my book proposal, perfecting queries, cover letters, synopses, CVs and sample chapters. My forehead has a neat QWERTY imprint from banging my head against the keyboard. My hands are clawed as if I've written 50,000 words and not a mere 500. I've said the words: conflict, crux, arc, narrative, character, protagonist and stakes so often I want to cut out my tongue. I've done a good deal of agent-stalking via Google. I've drunk a lot of tea. I'm almost there.

I'm going over my sample pages like I'm combing a wheat field for the dead body of a grasshopper.

Then I'll have five shiny proposals to post. And the average of six to eight weeks response time ... well that coincides nicely with the arrival of my 'other' baby. The, um, real baby. Which is more frightening?

Anywho, if you happen to be writing a query or synopsis or just want to spray tea out your nostrils and ruin your computer monitor, then read this guide by Chuck Wendig.

Posted on September 7, 2011 and filed under Agent Search, Novel, Writing.

Bring me the new year's head on a silver platter - it's mine.

Well holy shitsticks McGee, it's nearly 2011. I've already done a new year post of sorts, because I'm such a non-linear rebel, but here I am again. Next year's going to be good, I promise. I'm going to extend my writing CV by twice its current length, I'm going to finish this edit and start the next one, and the next, and finish this book. I'm going to attempt to write and sub a story a week. I'm going to start my next novel. I'm going to have work in the Brooklyn Art Library, too: I received my journal for the Art House Fiction Project (my profile is empty as yet, but here if you want to see it, and find out more about the project). It's blankness is sitting there like a titillating black hole - daunting but enticing. I've written two words, and that's all there will be until I have a more solid plan. My chosen theme is "Facing Forward".

I've also started stalking researching literary agents to find a prospective home for my novel, even though it will be Some Time until I can start making enquiries. The edit is s     l     o     w. I spent 4 hours on 9 pages the other day, but it is much better for it. I have some major structural work to do, and I'm finding mouldy walls and collapsed lintels behind the tiles and plasterboard the more I do. I need to adjust an extremely strict method of structuring into something more organic (sorry, I just puked a bit in my mouth - this talking about writing stuff is hard).

I'm not as afraid of agents as perhaps I should be. I had a brief contact with one several years ago, when I was still working on my first novel. I jumped a battery of guns and rang around agencies to see if I could send the pages I had - one accepted to see the first 50. I went to Australia for four weeks to watch my sister get married and let her dress me up like a drag queen so my bridesmaid made her bride look especially beautiful. The very day I got home, in fact, the very minute I dumped my bags in the hall, the phone rang and it was the agent.

She wanted to meet, took me out for won ton and jasmine tea and we talked about my book and my plans. Hindsight spanks me for even trying to make contact without a finished book, for being 20 and green and wearing a really horrible leather jacket. It took me four years to finish that novel, and when I was done I had a baby (unrelated) and started the next book, with the realisation that it would take some sort of heavy machinery to fix the first one.

That agent was extremely good to me - even though her politeness and well-bred face made me nervous and mumbly and sweaty - but we've lost touch now. I'll get hold of her when this book is done - properly polished and shiny-done - and hope that the original contact still holds some weight. She was responsible for a big success a few years ago, so I'm hoping that name dropping her when spreading feelers for other agents might help a little too.

But I'm not scared. I'm fucking excited - the writing's the fun part, the editing's the painful part, the shopping is the exciting part.

Posted on December 31, 2010 and filed under Agent Search, Editing, Novel, Projects, Writing.