It’s a weird thing when you complete something you have worked on for years. That moment when you type the final word of a story you imagined for the first time when you were barely six years old. It is bittersweet though. What do I work on now? For twenty years I have imagined a world beyond what I lived in and just over the past few years have I taken to really spending time writing it down. Tonight I typed the final word and it was amazing. To finally get the first part of the story down and complete was great. The next steps ahead are what terrifies me though. What if I just spent years writing out nearly 77,000 words just to find out I suck as a writer and that no one will ever read my story? What if I spent all this time just to be rejected by agents and publishers and be stuck with a manuscript that will never see the light of day.
I guess that is why this is so bitter sweet for me. I love my story, I love the world I created and the plot and the characters, but I imagined them, so of course I love them. How do I make other people fall in love with them also? Especially since some agents do not even want a sample, they just want a summary. How do you make someone understand the progression and growth and depth of your characters and your story when all they want is a 1000 word summary and then if they want to read more they will ask for it. Pouring your heart and soul into something and then having to sell it like some sleezy used car salesman just so you can get the full manuscript read is counterintutitve to my nature. I hate forcing things on others, but I feel if I do not force it that it may not happen. The agents that ask for a sample I feel more comfortable with. I like knowing that they will at least get to read part of the story before they reject it or ask for more. It seems a more natural, though I would say ten pages is a little on the low side to really get a feel for the book. I typically say twenty five pages is when I decide if I like or dislike what I am currently reading. Twenty five may be too much or agents to read every time they receive a submission
They other part of the submission process I find annoying is that some agents say they will not even respond if they do not wish to read the manuscript in its entirity. I understand that not every submission is good enough yet, or is a good idea, but to not even take the time to write a simple email and say that you are not interested seems rude in a way. Someone has put time and effort into their submission, could you not spend a few moments to write a stock response that tells the submitter that though you appreciate them submitting you are not interested at this time? Otherwise they could sit there for 6-8 weeks just wanting a response. I would rather receive a letter saying an agent was uninterested than never hear back at all.
The sweet side to all of this is that after twenty years the first story I ever wrote is at its full potential. Not only is it at its full potential, it has a sequel that needs to be written. Though the first book has been completed, there is a second and possibly more if I leave enough open ends. I even left room for a prequel if I feel like moving backward in time within my world. I have so many options that I am excited for where to move next. I have the second book in my head, and there will most likely be a third. I can’t see myself drawing the story out much further. I was never one to enjoy series’ that continued long after they should have ended.
I have a road ahead of me when it comes to the publishing process, but I also have a road ahead of me to work on other aspects of my story. Both roads are equally exciting, and luckily I can travel both at the same time.