Saturday, June 14, 2008

In Search Of Continued Stress

Just when I was ready to pack it in, with no agents interested in the query letter, I get a rejection letter that has me turning in confused circles.

It was a no, of course, because they're all no in the end. This time the agent provided a few words of critique, so I couldn't complain, could I? We all want a little guidance, a hint about where the manuscript can be tweaked in the hopes that someone else might like it.

Again, it was the slow start that did me in. The use of too much description that paints a picture of place but slows the narrative. And here I thought I had conquered that particular problem. How wrong I was.

Might as well go back and edit the first couple of chapters, to erase the slow parts and make a concerted effort to avoid the addition of things that I think are necessary to tell the story, but actually aren't.

There was one other notation, however, and that's created a whole different problem. How can I re-draw the protagonist so that she's realistically layered? How to show, rather than tell, that she's young, giddy and very naive so her choices aren't founded on solid logic? Or is that even really a factor? It could be that this one agent was expecting one sort of character and found that mine didn't match up.

Pack it in, or keep going? Well, there's this other manuscript that I've started on and I might as well finish it. And then send out queries. The protagonist might be someone that a New York agent could better relate to.

1 comment:

Aeneas said...

I haven't poked around your blog for a while, so tonight I did a big read. Insightful and great stuff, as always. It's too much to comment on each one of the ones I read, and I'm a bit brain dead anyway.

This last post, and the question at the end that you ask yourself--coupled with your previous post about talent--is eerily close to what I'm going through. I haven't recorded in a blog all the tries I've made, agents and publishers, and i stopped counting a long time ago how many no's I got; I stopped expecting anything else. It's not a good spot to be in, down deep it's very disappointing no matter how much I hype myself and tell myself that everyone is an idiot.

I read some of your stuff. It's so much better than my dribble. I am no expert, I just know what I like.

As for me, all that disappointment has taught me indifference to the whole process. I am no longer driven to write to agents; I am no longer driven to deal with them. As a matter of fact, I don't know how this happened, but I lost interest and quite frankly, given some of the things I've learned on this journey on how this business works and how authors are treated (how I was treated), I began to feel like I was getting into a form of prostitution. Pride took over and I simply said (excuse the French) FU! Suddenly I have contempt for the whole process. May be this is my form of protection and survival. But, I don't want to see another rejection letter, or deal with any of them. I was at the LA BEA with proposal in hand and I felt like a ghetto peddler. I walked out muttering--WTF am I doing, an engineer and professional peddling to these people, like some poor supplicant, hat in hand, trying to be nice and careful, and smiley and all that?

Sorry for the long post, but your journey so parallels mine; although I am not as well spoken about it as you are.

Don't pack it in. You do have talent. Just rise above it.

I don't know what cybername I used before==Aeneas? Or AR? Anyway, chin up, Adriana.

If you want to read a bit of my stuff, go to, under unpublished, General Literature, Wolves of Pavlava. This is not a pitch, believe me. I'm past that. But, I would be honored if you would take a peek at it, whenver you feel up to it.