megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
Brief correction, for anyone who isn't me who actually cares (the tens and tens of you), to the Query Score Card. I was going through the 'sent folder' to make sure I hadn't missed anything and discovered that, actually, one of my agents has timed out.

The partial I sent back in September has now timed out. The agent's submissions guidelines state that she takes 8-10 weeks to get back, and since it's been 10 weeks since sending the partial, that means that she is politely declining.

That brings the score card for Round Three up to:

Requests - 1 (full)

Rejections - 3

Timed Out - 1 (partial)

Still Pending - 4

On the side of good news, I have an orange kitten who is fascinated by the sound of the garbage truck going past and watching him try to figure out what it is kind of makes life worth living. And now he's snuggled up next to me, getting his purr on.

Yep, whatever else happens, even if I never get a publishing deal, never make it to the shelves, never get all the other things in my life I so badly want, I have this much. I have stories that I love to tell, even if just to myself and I have a great husband and an orange kitten and I am far, far luckier than I could ever deserve.

And now the orange kitten is letting me know that I have a flavor and that flavor is kind of sappy. Ah, cats. Always there to remind you that no matter how good you are, you're still just a human.
megwrites: Shakespeared! Don't be afraid to talk Elizabethan, or Kimberlian, or Meredithian! (shakespeared!)
My computer is finally starting to say it's long goodbye, which is putting a cramp in how much writing I can get done. Cut for those who do not care about my technological woes )

Woke up to a rejection in the inbox. It was a very nice form rejection that included an apology for sending a form rejection. It made me smile, because while that's a very sweet gesture, I don't think any agent should feel the need to apologize for a form rejection. The fact that you bother to send any notification of rejection is actually quite generous on your part. So it's like saying, "I apologize for being extra nice!"

Query Score Card update time! The score is changing not only to reflect the rejections I've gotten, but that I found yet another agent who accepts fantasy that I missed when I re-checked.

Requests - 2 (1 full, 1 partial)

Rejections - 3

Timed Out - 0 (from round 3. All of round 2 has timed out, rejected, or requested)

Still Pending - 4

I'm thinking of posting the agents I've found, thus far, that accept SF/F fiction along with a more specific list of what they have/do accept. I know other lists like this are out there, so would it be helpful to anyone else if I did this or no?

I've found that a lot of agents who will look kindly on vampires, werewolves and leather-clad heroines have no interest in science fiction or higher end fantasy, and I think it's a bit deceptive on the part of some search engines to say that a writer accepts "fantasy" - because that's like saying, for example, that Scott Lynch and Laurell K. Hamilton are writing the exact same thing and if you've ever read The Lies of Locke Lamora or any of the Merry Gentry or Anita Blake series, you know they're not.
megwrites: Shakespeared! Don't be afraid to talk Elizabethan, or Kimberlian, or Meredithian! (shakespeared!)
Yes, I'm spamming you. Don't worry, the flood should cease soon.

All this talk of Agent Appreciation Day has reminded me that I haven't updated the Query Score Card yet.

I've found another agent to submit to thanks to the SF/F agents thread at AbsoluteWrite - one caveat about the thread though. That list includes agents under the heading of SF/F who only represent paranormal or supernatural romance. Which is great, but if you're querying a space opera or a sword 'n sorcery type novel, they're not for you. So, as always, do your research!

The Card as stands:

Requests - 2 (1 full, 1 partial)

Rejections - 2

Timed Out - 0

Still pending - 4

I'm not expecting to hear from anyone before the end of the year, even those who have the full/partial in their hands. I figure with a scant two weeks to go before Christmas, a lot of people probably won't be touching queries until the New Year's Resolutions Flood comes in. Plus, holiday shopping and vacations and family time (which agents definitely deserve!), so I'm pretty much going to try to ignore my inbox except for a once daily check until 2010.

In non-query news, I've gotten nearly 5000 words on Invisible!Book, which is good and I think I know what happens after the first third of the book. I know the beginning and end and the middle is sort of going to have to come together, I think. It's the one part of the outline that is most vague for me.

Now that I don't have jury duty (it's over, yay!), I can get going on getting to chapter three, which I where I want to be by the end of this month, and thus this year. I'd like, ideally, to have the first draft of this book knocked out by Valentine's and have a second draft that's in queryable shape by the end of spring, start of summer. I think that's a reasonable time frame, all things considered.
megwrites: Shakespeared! Don't be afraid to talk Elizabethan, or Kimberlian, or Meredithian! (shakespeared!)
I've made some good progress on writing the first draft of my new project which I will entitle, cryptically, Invisible!Book. Clocked in a respectable 2500 words yesterday and still plugging away for today.

I shelved what I was working on during NaNoWriMo and the Vampire Book O' Doom has been given it's walking papers for the moment.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Awesome 80-year-old grandma psychics who have to rescue their vampire fathers and do-gooding werewolves and mad scientists and silly Vampire Huntresses who's leather clothing makes fart sounds not withstanding, the vampire market is kind of tired right now.

If 2012 rolls around and we're not running from earthquakes in limos (ala John Cusack), I'll see what I can do about it.

As far as querying the Tower!Guy novel goes, round two has timed out except for a full and a partial that are floating in the ether with the respective agents who requested them. I figure that they'll probably not get back to me until after the New Year because I imagine they're inundated right now with post-Nano slush, and hey, agents gotta have lives, too, right?

Buuuuut, I did research a bit and I found five more agents to query to, so I'm restarting the Query Score Card for Round Three! I'm counting the two requests from Round Two on the card because a) I can, b) it makes me feel better and c) every other query from that round is either timed out or rejected and so that round is essentially over

Query Score Card - Round Three!

Request - 2 (1 full, 1 partial)

Rejections - 0 (expect this number to rise rapidly)

Timed Out - 0

Still Pending -5
megwrites: Shakespeared! Don't be afraid to talk Elizabethan, or Kimberlian, or Meredithian! (shakespeared!)
Got a super nice rejection in the inbox last night on one of the two fulls that's still circulating around. The agent said she loved a lot of things about it, but just couldn't put her full passion behind it.

This brings the score card to:

Requests - 2 (1 full, 1 partial)

Rejections - 8

Timed Out - 6

Still Pending - 0

Which means that round two is hanging by a thread. I don't intend to do another round of querying for this novel if it bats zero again, because I feel that I've revised and edited and reworked the story as much as I can. I look back on it and I still am not sure what I could change that significantly that would make the novel different enough to deserve re-querying it.

I've gotten a lot of "I loved so much about it, but..." which tells me that there's something good in the novel, and maybe some of that "I just can't give it enough passion" is more of a "I have no idea how I'd sell this sucker."

Of course, I could be telling myself that to feel better, but hey. Until someone tells me different, I may as well preserve what's left of my self esteem, right?

Plus, the pool of agents who even want to deal with fantasy is quite limited and I do think in this market there may not be anyone willing to take the chance on an unpublished author with no record.

So should it bat zero, I will start really researching and considering plans to podcast/post the novel. Because I want the story out there and I pretty much knew I wouldn't make any money on it to begin with. Thoughts anyone?
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
Last night an agent emailed to request the full manuscript. I duly fired it off to him ASAP, and now I'm waiting on pins and needles for his reply.

Which brings the Query Score Card up to:

Rejections - 7

Requests - 3

Timed Out - 6

Still Pending - 3

And now is it nice to have some good news right now. Because it's been raining for two days solid and I'm very sore from trying new exercises and feel a bit crappy and still have a buttload left to write on Soul Machines before I move on to outlining my NaNoWriMo novel -- and really all I want to do curl up under a blanket and sit on the couch and watch reruns of Hu$tle or Leverage or something. Because only watching ridiculously hot people commit fabulous, over-plotted heists can heal my wounded soul.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
I'm back from Florida and finally sitting down at my desk at home to take care of long neglected business. I'm suitably sunburned -- which actually happened because of the open-top carriage ride I took to and from the ceremony -- and now a married woman. For the curious, the ceremony went well and fun was had by all.

I now have to try to catch up on my writing before NaNoWriMo because I really do want to do that. But I also want Soul Machines finished. I suppose this means I will need to write like a fiend for the rest of this month and November as well. But I am somewhere around half way done, and I can probably get this finished.

For those wondering about the Query Score Card, it remains the same. In a couple of weeks, some of the other queries will start to time out based on various stated time frames given by individual agents. Which leaves it at:

Rejections - 7

Requests - 2

Timed Out - 2

Still Pending - 8
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
How NOT to be a professional.

I'm getting tired of seeing other writers, especially aspiring ones like myself, take such an oppositional tack when it comes to agents. For all that agents are accused of thinking of us writers as barely worthwhile scum on their shoes, it seems like plenty of authors feel the same way about agents.

Plus, have you ever heard of a writer arguing with a rejection and getting a positive result? Getting representation? Getting a book deal? I haven't yet, and I'd be surprised if it's ever happened in the history of modern publishing.

When it comes to dealing rejection, I suggest allowing yourself to feel what you're feeling. After nearly 35 rejections (since April) of the current novel out on query, I certainly am feeling a lot of things, not all of them warm and fuzzy. Feel frustrated, upset, depressed, even angry. But no matter what you feel. No matter how sorely disappointed you are, ACT professionally.

Your feelings are your own, and I don't believe in listening to anyone who tells you what is and isn't right to feel. I don't believe in telling writers, "don't take it personally". Telling a writer not to take it personally is like telling water not to be wet. You invest years of your life in something, it's personal. Feeling like you're helpless when it comes to the fate of a manuscript you've had total control over can send you around the bend.

However, these feelings should not dictate your actions. Be as emotional as you like, but do not ACT out of those emotions. Act out of professionalism. And for the record? Professionalism is just another word for mutual respect. Your feelings are not an agent's business, but your actions are. There's no rule that says that you must actually be smiling on the inside when you grin and bear it - but that doesn't excuse you from grinning and bearing it like an adult.

Whether or not you feel professional, act that way. Because that's how you'll become one.

Speaking of rejections, I got a shiny new one in the inbox. This brings the Query Score Card up to:

Rejections: 7

Requests: 1

Timed Out: 2

Still Pending: 8

ETA: Borked math on the Query Score Card.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
I just got a request for the first thirty pages of my novel from an agent. They said my project sounded "intriguing". That's right, intriguing.

Aww man, I needed this so badly it's not funny. Even if it ends in a "sorry, not right for me" in my inbox, it's nice to know that I'm still in the running. That agents are still reading and even taking on clients still. Hope is not completely futile. Only, like, 98% futile. There's still a 2% chance that things won't end badly!

This brings the Query Score Card up to:

Rejections: 6

Requests: 1 (WAHOOOO!!!!!)

Timed Out: 1

Still Pending: 10

Excuse me, I have to go fire my query out of a canon and onto an agent's desk and then find some celebratory chocolate because HELLS YES THIS CALLS FOR SOME COCOA-Y GOODNESS.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (sex goddess)
I'm back from Florida, yay! I read all my books on the airplane and did a few pages of writing on Soul Machines (the novel formerly known as UF!2girls), so I feel it was a productive trip. I've got a bunch of reviews to write up.

Plus, I got to meet [ profile] fashionista_35 face to face, and yes. She is even more fabulous than she seems online, if that's possible. It was really nice to be able to talk shop with a fellow writer, and going into Barnes and Noble with her was a hoot! There is just nothing like scoping out the cover art and mocking the bad while oohing and jealousing over the good for entertainment.

I really need to get some writer friends here in NYC. I know I have a few people on my f-list who are writers or SF/F fen here in the Big Apple, but I've never met any. That's sad. I need to rectify this pronto.

I got two rejections and one that timed out from April that I was still sanguine about but have now abandoned. Both rejections were really polite form letters. This brings the Query Score Card up to:

Rejections: 5

Requests: 0

Timed Out: 1

Still Pending: 11

So, you've been duly updated on things as they stand. Because I'm sure you were all just holding your breath to know all that.

I'm still catching up on the f-list, but if anything really exciting, important, or otherwise noteworthy happened, please drop me a comment so I can know about it. Or just tell me how the state of you is going. What are you working on? How's your day/week/month/year been going?
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
Woke up to a rejection in my inbox this morning - nothing like seeing a polite form letter while you're still trying to get the grime out of your eyes.

Which makes the new Query Score Card status:

Rejections - 3

Requests - 0

Still Pending - 14

Timed Out - 0

In a fit of optimism, I'm taking a flash drive with the full manuscript on it plus some other stuff to Florida with me (I leave in about an hour for the airport) in case I get good news while I'm there. That would be really nice.

So, I'm off. I'll have intermittent internet access while I soak up the Florida humidity sunshine and make final wedding plans (A month and two days until I'm a married woman, woohoo!)
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
1. Jeff Vandermeer tells you how to figure out how old you are in writer years. Is it better to be really young or really old?

2. On the query front, the Query Score Card remains the same as it was the last time I reported in. However, it was a holiday weekend here in the U.S. and I really hope the agents I queried were out having a good time instead of stuck in their offices. Because I certainly wasn't writing, I was out getting sunburned.

Still, for those keeping track at home, the score card (as of 1100 EST) stands at:

Rejections - 2

Requests - 0

Still Pending - 14

Time Outs* - 0

I'm adding a new category to the score card because some of the queries are reaching their second week out with no response and my cut off time is six weeks. I figure after six weeks the agent is either not interested or so busy that even if they liked my project, they don't have time for me - which is fine. Agents should be focusing on their existing clients more than queries anyway.

3. I'd like to clear the air after having posted about the rude rejection I got last week. I want it known that I posted about it because it was such a shock. 99.999999% of the agents I've queried have been consummate professionals, very polite, and even really helpful.

So when one agent out of the 40 (ish) I've queried since April was so rude in his rejection, it really surprised me. That agent's colleagues had done such a good job at showing me just what wonderful people they are, after all.

I'm not bitter about it. If anything, I'm amused. I must have caught the Agent In Question on an abysmally bad day to get a response like that. So, onward and upward and all that.

I don't know that I'll be getting a lot of work done this week or next. I'm off to Florida to finish off the final details of my wedding and get things set right for October. Most of the work is already done, thank goodness.

4. I actually have a working title for my current project! UF!2Girls will now be known as: Soul Machines. I think that's snazzy, don't you? I was very pleased with myself for coming up with something that wasn't a cryptic assortment of words and numbers with an exclamation point thrown in. I can't come up with titles for beans.

5. I don't have a fifth thing. I'm going to go write about imaginary people now.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
As you can guess from the icon and subject line, this isn't gonna be the happy post where I announce something good. One day, I'll make that post. One day. Just not this day.

Today I found a few more agents to query to and fired off emails to them, which resulted in me getting a rejection letter back thirty minutes later.

And it was a very snarky rejection and kind of unprofessional. Guess I caught somebody on a bad day. Sheesh. I mean, they couldn't even stick with the standard "Sorry, I'm not the right agent for this project" or a form letter and be done with it. Nope, they had to go for the personal touch.

So, the query score card stands at:

Rejections - 2

Requests - 0

Still Pending - 15

Query stuff

Sep. 2nd, 2009 05:34 pm
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (sex goddess)
I've found three more agents to submit to, so I fired off queries to them. I refuse to fail this time without having exhausted every option. Unfortunately, that means sending of queries and playing the Waiting Game - which may be the worst part of this entire writing thing.

Actually, I amend that. Rejections are the worst part. Of course, saying that is like saying having a hot poker jabbed into your eye is worse than being stung by 100,000 angry bees. It's all exceedingly unpleasant, but at least it's worth it whether I succeed or fail.

If I succeed, yay for me. I've climbed one insurmountable mountain and can now begin to contemplate how in the sweet lovely hell I'm going to surmount (mount?) the next one.

If I fail, well, I've learned something about either the market, the agents, my query letters, or the story itself and maybe all of the above. Which will serve me well next time.

On a side note, can I just say thank goodness my current project is urban fantasy? I swear there's a 20:1 ratio of agents for urban fantasy to agents for straight-up fantasy. It's really frustrating, let me tell you, internets. I'm wondering if that's a sign that the adult fantasy market is failing or if agents don't think it's the cool new thing anymore or what.

Right now I'm bracing for rejections and deciding what my next move should be. I don't think I can do any more with this novel as it is, and maybe it's served its purpose. Maybe it was just supposed to be a teaching tool for me. I can say I learned an amazing amount about editing and querying from it, so there's that.

I guess right now I'm asking myself if I can let this story go and move on to the next one, if I still have confidence in it. And honestly? I don't know the answer.

So, the revised Query Score Card stands at:

Rejections - 1

Requests - 0

Still Pending - 10

ETA: My math is severely borked. This is why I'm a writer, not an accountant.

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