Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and this month's lovely co-hosts;
As the year stretches out before me I can't help wondering what it holds for my writing.I have been working for a while on my latest project. An MG fantasy adventure set in Cornwall. The first draft was completed last summer. I sent it out to readers and received some encouraging feedback and some helpful suggestions. This last few months I have been editing and rewriting and. I am really happy about the way it is progressing. I am aiming to have a completed ms over the next few weeks and I am excited about that.
But then comes the next scary part ..... the submission process.
And that is where the insecurities and doubts set in. Where should I submit? Agents, publishers or both? There are only a handful of suitable UK publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts, I have a couple in mind, and I may well submit to them, but so many only look at agented work so ideally I would love to find an agent.
I know rejection is to be expected, I have dealt with it many times as I know most of you have too, but I really, really want to get a yes this time. I love the story and the characters and I think it offers something new, but will it find a home somewhere? It is a tough market out there, so many writers with great stories to share, only a few make it. The odds are stacked against us. We are told time and time again that it's about finding a new angle, having a unique voice and writing the story you would want to read.
My story features characters from Cornish folklore, many of which will be unfamiliar, and so therefore it should be fresh and interesting. But it is not just a traditional fantasy. One of the main characters has lost her father in an accident and so the story shows how she copes with bereavement.The anger and sadness, that not only effects her, but her mother and brother too. Having lost my own father suddenly when I was a similar age I feel well able to 'get inside' the character's head. Whilst it is no way about me, it is a subject I think I can write about well, with compassion and understanding.
I think I have written a well plotted story. One with the right balance between realism and fantasy. But I will only really know when I send it out and see what sort of response, if any, I get!
So I start the new year in a state of mixed emotion. Swinging from excitement to trepidation. I will finish the ms and write the best story I can. If nothing else I can be proud of that fact.I will put on my armour to protect me from the rejections that are likely to follow whilst holding onto the believe and hope that the good news I long for is around the corner.
Happy New Year to you all. I hope you have a successful and productive writing year ahead.
Congratulations on the completed ms!!! Now the dreaded process of query begins. Personally, I'd query for an agent first. And the rejections hurt, big time, but it only takes one yes! If that doesn't pan out then I'd go the next step to small publishers. One final word is Perseverance!! Good Luck!!!ReplyDelete
Hi Suzanne. Such an honest post! Almost made me cry and certainly made me cheer you on! You go girl... send it on. Try not to let your own words defeat you. You can ask five people, "who wants chicken tonight?" Maybe no one does tonight, but that has nothing to do with tomorrow... and you don't know the future, unless you've been holding out on us (Hmm?).ReplyDelete
I'm not a member of the "IWSG," but I say: Just do it!!
Thanks for cheering me on! Love your analogy and no I am definitely not holding out on you guys!Delete
Hi Suzanne .. the folklore will appeal to many ... and aiming it at Cornish folk who've left to open up the world for others .. South African miners, in the States and Australia ... there's lots of outlets .. Cornwall is your call ...ReplyDelete
I'm sorry about your father ... I lost mine when I was 30 ... not early, but a shock at the time ...
As Dixie says .. just do it - if you don't get them out there ... it will never happen - good luck in 2015 - Hilary
I actually hadn't thought about that Hilary, thank you. Yes some of the folklore will no doubt translate well.Delete
You and I are in a similar place, Suzanne. I have to believe our stories will find their right home, even if we are somewhat insecure about the process!ReplyDelete
Exactly Karen, never giving up is the answer. Good luck with your journey too.Delete
All my books have the element of a father/child relationship, so I feel as if I can relate already. The story sounds like a good one, Suzanne. I know that's not enough to smother your trepidation. Sometimes I wonder if there is such a thing as an author who feels total at peace over what they're writing. Probably not, eh.ReplyDelete
No you are probably right, Joylene! Thanks for your kind words,Delete
Happy new year! I did the whole submitting thing last year. My new gray hairs could tell you about it. Good luck!ReplyDelete
Oh yeah must remember to stock up on hair dye too! Good luck with your upcoming release, Christine.Delete
Have to just go for it many times and see what happens. Submit away I say.ReplyDelete
I will, thanks Pat.Delete
I think you have a unique hook with the Cornish setting. Good luck with it :-)ReplyDelete
I hope so, Annalisa. Time will tell - watch this space ....Delete
I've always loved Cornwall so this setting appeals to me right off the bat. Good luck with the submission process and congratulations on completing the ms! I know you will find the right home for it whatever that may be.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Julie. Happy New Year to you.Delete
I'm in the same place - the submission process is a hard place to be, but it hopefully doesn't last forever! Good luck! :)ReplyDelete
Best of luck with your journey too, Krista. We can compare notes! Happy New Year.Delete
Suzanne, Happy New Year to you and yours! I'm in the same place as you right now. good luck with everything.ReplyDelete
Happy New Year to you too, Stephen. I wish you all the best with your journey too.Delete
I say go for both. You don't know who is looking for a fresh take on fantasy.ReplyDelete
Good point, Alex. Thank you.Delete
Definitely go for both. In fact, the trend has been that people will land a publisher and then agents come knocking. I know, I know, it sound backwards, but sometimes you have to go the unconventional route, eh? I'm wishing you all the luck in the world!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Crystal. Things do seem to happen in all sorts of ways don't they?Delete
They sure do. You just never know how it will work out for you. =)Delete
You should definitely send it to wherever you can. It's better to have as many options as possible. Good luck with finishing the ms and sending it out!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Sarah. I think I just need to get it out there!Delete
Oh, I really hope this is the one! It sounds awesome. If you do half as good a job selling it to an agent as you've done in this post, I should think there'll be lots of interest. All my fingers are crossed for you xxReplyDelete
Thank you, Helen. I do hope that the agents/publishers love it too! I'll keep you posted xxDelete
I would definitely submit to agents. It can't do you any harm while you're also submitting straight to the publishers. If you are feeling excited about your book, then I'm betting you'll get positive responses.ReplyDelete
MG fantasy set in Cornwall? Sounds interesting. Be sure to let us know when it comes out.
Thanks, Lord Ken, I will definitely let you all know how things go over the next few months.Delete
Good news is around the corner - it is! Best wishes with querying, writing, and life!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Tyrean :)Delete
Your book sounds interesting, Suzanne! I wish you all the best with the submission process!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Chrys and thank you for co-hosting this month :)Delete
All we can do is our best and then strive to do better. Here's to a wonderful 2015 and your best writing ever.ReplyDelete
And a Happy New Year to you too :)Delete
Rejections don't necessarily get easier to take just because you're expecting them. But don't let them stop you. Best of luck.ReplyDelete
I think you develop a tougher skin but no they still hurt! I will keep on trying. Happy New Year.Delete
Your book sounds fantastic! Best of luck with the querying and Happy New Year! :)ReplyDelete
So glad to hear people think the premise is interesting. It certainly boosts the confidence as I prepare to start submitting again.Delete
Your book sounds really interesting, Suzanne! I did have to google was a MG Fantasy was. My published sister struggled over her first manuscript for years, and finally her husband put his foot down and said, "Just send the damn thing out!" She got published in the US! Maybe you can look beyond the borders of the UK. I'm excited for how much you've accomplished already ~ It's inspiring! I think it's really important to write what you believe in and hang in there! I'm rooting for you!ReplyDelete
Maybe I could, thanks for the supportive comment, Fundy.Delete
Hope you receive some great responses, Suzanne, and wishing you much success in the coming year!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much :)Delete
Rejection is tough, but I'll say what helped me--keep a spreadsheet and track where you've sent it. Then start the next project. Once you have two projects, track both of those, then move on to the next. When you have it all in front of you, it helps...but it also helps having more than one book going at once. That rejection stings FAR less.ReplyDelete
That sounds like a good idea, Stephanie. Thank you.Delete
Oh Suzanne, I wish you so much luck with submissions! I hope someone loves your book and that it finds the right home. It is so hard to go through that process and particularly the rejections, but I hope your armor holds up--and really, I hope you don't even need it bc the right person reads it right off the bat :). Good luck!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for your support, it is much appreciated.Delete
We all have these moments, and I know that doesn't help, but you aren't alone. You're doing the right thing by just keeping on. Believe in yourself and your story. Make it the best story you possibly can... I personally believe that finding a qualified, experienced editor to go over your work once you have done all that you can, is the best way to get a "Yes." Please consider it. Remember NO traditionally published author has been published without an editor going over the mss first. Why should we be any different? And, in this publishing climate, the more polished your mss the better chance you have of getting that "Yes." Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog, and good luck in this new year!ReplyDelete
Good luck with your new idea, Suzanne.ReplyDelete
Isn't it weird to know you have a great story, but you still don't know how agents will respond to it? It never gets easier, does it? I hope 2015 is your year!ReplyDelete
Suzanne, best wishes with the submission process.ReplyDelete
Wishing you so much luck with your submission. It is scary, but it's necessary and you can do it. Look at the support you have behind you! Here's to a great 2015 for you! xReplyDelete
Submit, submit, submit! That's the only way to make things happen. And also don't forget to breathe deeply as you submit. It helps a lot with the anxiety of waiting. May this 2015 bring plenty of good things to you, Suzanne. Dragon Hugs!ReplyDelete
It sounds like you've done a great job seeking feedback and polishing your ms. My advice is to submit to agents for the first 6 months, and if you don't get an offer, then sub to publishers. Good luck!!ReplyDelete
BTW, I’ve taken over hosting the Celebrate the Small Things hop, and we have a new linky for 2015. Please drop by my blog and sign up, so hop members can see your link and continue visiting you.
Hi, I have yet to sign up for the IWSG (next month for sure), but had to comment in the meantime. I'm in the same boat!! Reading about your insecurities has given me the courage to start the process....THANKS....and believe me, I'm scared big time. Can't wait to hear the results of your efforts. Your story sounds wonderful. Don't give up!ReplyDelete
Sounds great to me already. I haven't read a story with Cornish folklore characters, and I have fond memories of holidaying down there. Fingers crossed you get some good news this year!ReplyDelete
Don't over think it, Suzanne. Get it out there and see what happens. The worst is they'll say no. The best is they'll say yes. The middle is they'll say almost and give you some reasons why. Good luck. Let's hear what the results. We all understand. BTW I'd love to read something set in Cornwall.ReplyDelete
The most important thing, I believe, is that you believe in your writing. Cornwall, allures and intrigues. Perfect ingredients for a thoughtful story, dear Suzanne.
A peaceful, productive New Year to you.
it's the round robins of what to do's!!!! hope you make a decision and let us know!!!ReplyDelete
Your ms sounds wonderful and I know I would love it. There are some fabulous children's agents out there, but yes it is difficult and it is scary. You have a strong ms, believe in it and send it out into the world and start on the next one while you wait rather than stressing about what is to come back xReplyDelete
Thank you all lovely peeps, I appreciate all your encouragement and advice this month. I feel ready to prepare that submission list.ReplyDelete