Friday, December 7, 2012

Still writing.

Linda is off on her writing trip, which means I'm home on my writing "trip."  I'm going to try to get Freedy Filkins closer to the end of his Adventure.

Meanwhile, I got back a rejection from the first agent I tried.  A one sentence, she didn't "connect with" the sample chapters.

Now, I was trying to be prepared.  I knew the odds weren't great, still it hurts.   Thing was, I wasn't going to check the email while I was hot and heavy writing.  Either a rejection or an acceptance would derail me.  For how long, I don't know.  How resilient am I?

I was lucky the first time, all those years ago -- got accepted right away, got an agent right away.  After that the agent shielded me from the day to day rejections.

So I'm going to have to develop a thicker hide.

How long to recover?  Hours, days, weeks?  Never mind, keep writing.

I couldn't ignore the emails because I wanted the names of more agents.

Yesterday I called Mike Richardson, my old boss who is now the owner of Dark Horse, and had a nice long chat with him.  It was nice -- I think he really remembers his Bend days fondly.  I asked him how long the store was on Greenwood and he said, one and half years.  Wow.  It seemed like years and years.

He also pinpointed the founding of Pegasus Books as January, 1980, so that means we're coming up on 33 years anniversary.

So that means the Pegasus has been downtown for 31 years -- which is longer than I remembered.

That fits the timeline of me working for Mike's brother and then me managing the store before I bought it.

Anyway, it was a fun conversation.

At the end, I asked if he'd refer me to a "few agents."  So having done that, I couldn't ignore my emails.

I'm going to keep a list of agents I've tried, so I don't duplicate.  Then send each book proposal off to 10 of 15 agents.

If I keep getting rejected, then I just need to try harder on the next book.

I'm thinking right now that my best bet is to go with my more traditional fantasy -- The Reluctant Wizard.  I'm planning to turn my earlier book, Sometimes a Dragon into the same setting, so they become part of a series.  Put my professional efforts into that.

Put my more experimental and obviously questionable material like Nearly Human and Freedy Filkins, online.  They are "high concept" in the sense that they can be described as a single sentence and they are the kind of thing I can see people trying out of curiosity.  I had fun writing them, but neither one fit anything out there that I'm aware of -- especially Freedy.  Nearly Human was the book I used to get back into the writing, and I think is bit of misfire, much as I like lots of what's there.

I told myself going in that this was going to be hard, and as I sank deeper into this writing, I knew it was going to get harder.  I could've blown off rejection easier if I'd just been doing this as a lark.  The more serious I get, the more exposed I will be.  But if I'm really serious about getting published again, I'm going to need to expect lots of rejection before someone takes me on.

I just have to keep writing and trying harder.  At the end of the day, I'll know I've tried.


Jack Goodman said...

Did not know Mike Richardson had a direct connection with the store. The things I learn from your blog. I've met him a few times in passing and always seems like such a great guy. I'm sure he's received a few of my pleading letters about how I was meant to work for his company as well. lol Congrats on the 33 years Dunc. You remain one of my favorite shops. Even when not living in Bend, like I am now, I like to come for a visit now and then. Also gives me a great excuse to pester Jasper with my comic industry predictions.

Duncan McGeary said...

I won't be doing a blow by blow account of my rejections from now on, but since I made such a big deal of contacting an agent, I think you guys deserved to hear.

Duncan McGeary said...

The thing about The Reluctant Wizard is that the first three chapters are about the same level of quality as my published books.


I just have to try to get those maybe better, and the whole book better, but I have to keep the faith that I'm within firing distance.

Duncan McGeary said...

Also, I figure this was a test run. A reality check.

Well, I got what I asked for.

It wasn't until I actually sent it off that I had more of a feeling for how it was going to look. And what level of preparedness I was.

So, my feeling now, is that I don't want to be premature. So give the Reluctant Wizard the thorough rewrite it deserves before I send it off, and then keep writing in that world. Develop that world so that if it ever does become something I can sell, I'll be ready.

Either that, or I'll have a entire "world" to present online, instead of single novel. Either way, the point is the develop it.

The fact that I don't even have a particular "name" for that world tells me it's not quite ready to be rolled out.

Duncan McGeary said...

One more thing, then I'll stop talking about it.

I tend to get my back up when I'm rejected. I get stubborn. I want to prove I can do it.

Which is either healthy or unhealthy, depending on my level of delusion.

My original guy falling through just made me more determined. This rejection just make me more determined.

When people expressed doubt about Freedy Filkins, they just guaranteed I was going to finish it.

A strange reaction. Mostly, I don't expose myself to rejection. Maybe because this is my reaction.

Martha said...

I like that reaction. :)