One week to go!
I’m glad I went back to teaching this semester. It’s a job I really enjoy. But the first semester back always takes ten times the effort as I had to adapt to new software that the school is now using for their online content, a new version of the software I was teaching, a small adjustment in the course content etc.
Next week I give my students their final exams, and then I’m done for the summer.
Another thing I’m giving up is my proofreading. I’ve enjoyed doing it, and I have learned a lot from the experience. It was a good investment of one year. That year is actually up in the middle of May, and I do intend to make sure it was a full year.
I am clearing up as many time commitments as I can so that I can concentrate on polishing a full length novel and prepare to send a query to an agent.
Ah… the agent! I went through the Writers’ Guide last year and searched out agents who represent SciFi and Romance and stories that have non-heterosexual relationships. There weren’t many. In fact, one stood out far above the crowd (Is three a crowd?) After checking out the agency’s website and connecting with agents and writers via social media, my supposed “list” of agents had one shining example at the top. What I hope to do is, instead of the usual query-in-the-slush-pile, I will look for an opportunity where the agent is doing a seminar or offering a critique (agents donate critiques to charitable causes all the time) so that I know that I will at least get some feedback beyond “No thank-you” if she doesn’t want me and my story. One thing I’ve learned in the last 18 months is that agents sometimes say “no” even if they do like the story. They might already represent an author who is very similar, or simply not have room in their schedule for another author at story at all. I’m patient, and I’m willing to completely re-write the novel several times over.
So what about my ROW80 goals? I won’t actually set them down until next week, but here’s what I’m thinking…
- Finish a short story about a character who finds his way into a magical shopping mall for an anthology a friend is putting together. It might not be actually published in any way, it’s just for fun, but I want to participate.
- Read through and critique a story Geri sent me weeks (months?) ago but I haven’t had time to get to. I want to give it a real crit, not just a quick proofreading pass.
- Read through, scrutinize, and outline the script for the upcoming Star Trek: Phase II shoot. I’ll be working on continuity this time around, so I need to be intimately familiar with every scene. (No, I didn’t write it.) The shoot happens just after this ROW80 round ends.
- Instead of immediately diving into “The Story” that will be submitted to an agent, since I’ve been out of it for several months (only writing my serial short and the occasional side project) I will first re-write one of the others, probably Under the Radar, as a warm-up to get back into the world of Kingdom Come.
- Sometimes I forget to list the regular blog stuff as goals, but it’s all still there. SciFi Question of the Day every Tuesday, my serial short every Monday, update for ROW80 every Wednesday, and I frequently link-up with Write On Edge on Fridays.
The shortlink for this post is http://wp.me/p1qnT4-Ju
Good luck with getting your agent. I’m writing in a different kind of genre myself and I’m hoping to find an agent when I’m ready. Just remember to keep trying, because you can be good enough, but people aren’t ready for you yet. Just be patient. 😀
What I must keep in mind about the “keep trying” is that I have to actually “try” once in the first place! I have a tendency to continuously prepare and never actually take the final leap. So far, I have very good reasons for not having queried at all in the last 18 months. But now I’m walking that line where I need to produce something and put myself out there, or… what was all that work for?
You do have to put yourself out there. (IMHO, this is a terrible time to sign agreements or contracts, because the industry is still in flux, however….)
No matter what you do, you’ve got to get stuff done, put it out there, and move on. That may mean cycling back once in a while and finding old stuff to revise or polish up, but just don’t let that bog you down. 🙂
Sounds like you’ve got a good set of goals. Good going.
Sounds like a good plan for getting hooked up with that agent of choice! Hope it works out for you.
I hope so too! Although I whole-heartily heed the advice of “If the so-called agency is charging you money up front, they aren’t legitimate.” I do think I have a good plan. The agency has specific guidelines for submission that don’t include charging any $$ at all. Over the past 18 months, I’ve seen several announcements about “So-and-so has signed with us!” and lots of announcements about selling to a publisher, releases, etc.
I do feel comfortable giving money to either a reputable magazine or website that offers a workshop by the agent I chose, or giving money to a charitable cause in order to win/purchase a critique. Now, to get that manuscript polished…
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