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happywritermom
05-19-2009, 05:17 PM
I have three agents considering my nonfiction proposal and three more with partials of my novel. I should be thrilled, but I find myself dragging instead. It seems like I've been at this so long now (Three years of querying the novel with a break in there to give birth to twins and get adjusted to life wth the little guys. Eight months with the nonfiction book.). I've sent out so many fulls, partials and proposals that it's hard to believe anything is going to happen. I have revised the novel somewhat in the past year, but I'm thinking it might be time to put that to the side for a while.

I could use a few upbeat tales.

Calla Lily
05-19-2009, 05:36 PM
Your wish is my command.

2005: Sent 3 chapters of "wonderful, amazing, perfect" 1st novel to excellent contest. Tanked. (Deservedly.) Cried. Reread crits. Slapped self. Unfortunately queried a few agents with bad book and worse query. Rewrote novel twice that year.

2006: Sent massively changed first 3 chapters to same contest. Finaled. (Didn't win.) Started querying agents in earnest with decent query. Started writing next book, different genre. ~100 rejections from queries, partials, and fulls.

Summer 2007: Landed agent! Both books on sub. Started writing 3rd book.

Summer 2008: Agent closed shop. (It is indeed true that a bad agent is worse than no agent. Unpleasant details elsewhere on AW.)

Summer 2008: Started querying again from scratch. Think of Sisyphus rolling that boulder up the hill in Hades for eternity. That's exactly what it felt like. I was certain my writing was not good enough to land a "real" agent. Because you can be darn sure I was only querying agents with track records of real sales this time. ~50 rejections from queries, partials, and fulls.

Spring 2009: Queried agent with 2nd book. 6 days later, The Call.


happywritermom, it will happen. It takes time and effort and chocolate and the occasional martini. You obviously have what it takes because agents are reading your material. Good luck! It can happen. I'm a prime example.

Manix
05-19-2009, 05:42 PM
Think of Sisyphus rolling that boulder up the hill in Hades for eternity.



happywritermom, it will happen. It takes time and effort and chocolate and the occasional martini. You obviously have what it takes because agents are reading your material. Good luck! It can happen. I'm a prime example.

This says it all! Thanks for the inspiration Lilly! :D

MaLanie1971
05-19-2009, 05:46 PM
It is so hard, I know. Keep going, your are so close!! You go girl! It is almost time to celebrate!

stormie
05-19-2009, 05:50 PM
I've been writing and submitting and getting short stories, essays, and poems published for over nine years. Last year was the pits. I parted with my agent and only got one short story published. No pay. I questioned my writing and I questioned my decision to make this my career.

I put most work aside for a short while, not writing anything new. Hardly writing at all. I revisited my mss., reworked several (including an MG novel), and started going full-guns on submitting again.

Within the last two days I've had three acceptances: a literary mag, a children's ezine, and an anthology. I still get rejections but I feel better now about my writing.

Sometimes you have to step away for a short while, anywhere from a week to a month, or more (if that's at all possible).

MarkEsq
05-19-2009, 06:16 PM
I've been on the same roundabout, Lori. You know some of it already. This waiting game is simply awful. But it will happen, it's just a question of when. We need that to be true, so it is. :)

Amarie
05-19-2009, 06:22 PM
Don't lose faith! Anyone who writes as well as you do should keep going.:)

wordmonkey
05-19-2009, 07:17 PM
In 2001 I decided that I would become a movie writer. I'd dabbled in college and I knew my ideas were as good as anything coming out in the cinemas.

That I lived in the middle of nowhere, NC, had no connections and no money to even get out to LA to meet anyone, let alone network on any kind of effective level, never occurred to me.

That realization did finally set in and it was all real.

But I carried on.

End of last year I had a TV show that I created and wrote a pilot for go into development with a production company in LA. Last week I just signed a contract to write a movie screenplay for a franchise that EVERYONE would have heard of.

A LOT of time in the middle wandering, doubting and feeling sorry for myself. But I stayed with it. And it's starting to come together.

It can happen.

susangpyp
05-19-2009, 08:07 PM
I started out sending 2 page (GASP!) queries for a proposal I had not yet written in 2002.
Naturally I received all rejections which was good since I really didn't have a clue what it was I was writing about. I wanted to write a general self-improvement book but there did not seem to be any interest. My cause was not helped by the fact that I couldn't write a query, didn't have a proposal and my idea was a bit foggy.

I started to research (ie read every book that I could get my hands on) writing a book proposal in 2003 and 2004. In 2004 I took a class on it and pronounced it all too very very hard to even think about. I could write the book but the proposal was just way too much work.

I started to research self-pubbing not just through "vanity" presses but by founding my own publishing company. I did found my own publishing company and set out to self-publish my book (that I hadn't yet written). I read everything on self-publishing, belonged to several forums, interviewed several book "shepherds," copy editors, cover artists etc. I then started to write the book.

After sending out several chapters to have "sample edits" done so that I could choose an editor, I found the quality of those editors lacking. I also had some cover sketches done which I was not happy with and the book shepherds were making my head hurt. I realized I was never going to get a quality product to the market. It was all too damn hard and very expensive. So I dropped that whole idea.

I then went to a writer's conference and spoke to several agents who were somewhat interested in ME but felt I didn't have a clear handle on my book. They all suggested I firm things up beyond "self-improvement."

I gave up. I just went back to blogging for my motivational seminar students. In December 2006 I wrote a post on the blog about through the holidays after a breakup. The blog readership suddenly hit the roof. I followed it with other posts about a breakup and the blog readership continued to climb into the thousands per day. Huh?

In August 2007 I realized that I had THE book. DUH. Getting Past A Breakup. Though it encompassed A LOT of whatever the first book was going to be, it had a focus and a purpose.

I sat down and got mega-serious about the book proposal and learning to write a snappy, interesting ONE PAGE query and send it to a handful of agents 6 queries at a time. When each set came back with questions, I revised the query to address questions and concerns. No one requested the proposal in the first batch but a few did on the second batch. When they all declined I sent out the 3rd batch.

On batch number 3 (about 18 queries) I had 2 interested agents and signed with the one from the (slightly) better agency. We worked on the proposal and then shopped it to publishers and I had an offer within the first week and 2 others that were interested.

The book was released on May 4, 2009 almost 7 years after my first round of "I think I have a book I might want to write but here's my life story in case you're interested in that instead" queries.

So a LONG LONG way of saying: don't give up!!!

Wayne K
05-19-2009, 08:32 PM
I say toss it all and run away with me to Aruba.


I'm not a good person to ask obviously.

happywritermom
05-19-2009, 09:53 PM
Wayne, unfortunately, I can't afford Aruba right now, so I guess that option is out. Even if I could, no way would anyone want to babysit my good-natured terrors at this age for more than an hour. The older ones, maybe. But the twins spend most of their time stripping and running away from me. I'll have to run away to the puddle in the backyard during naptime instead.

Thanks so much for all the great responses. I don't know what I would do without this forum.

Dee, I just got a very helpful rejection on a partial from the novel in which the agent said everything that you had previously told me about first chapters and my genre. There are many reasons I'm glad to know you, but that definitely is one of them!

Lily, Susan, Stormie and Wordmonkey, thanks for sharing your stories. It's such a huge help. Looking back on my nonfiction proposal, I am embarrassed that I even sent it out for those first few months. Then along came an awesome agent who could not represent the book due to an overload in other projects, but who believed in it and spent a good deal of time helping me reshape the proposal. It is much, much stronger, but now I need another agent who believes in the project!

Manix. MaLanie, Mark, thanks so much for your kind words. Mark, I had hoped the waiting was over for you by now. Keep at it. You know you've got a good thing going.

I feel much better and much more on track again.
Thanks again.
You guys (and gals) are the greatest!

Lori

stormie
05-19-2009, 10:45 PM
Yep, that's what I love about AW. Good people. You'll do great, Lori!

Alitriona
05-20-2009, 12:31 AM
End of last year I had a TV show that I created and wrote a pilot for go into development with a production company in LA. Last week I just signed a contract to write a movie screenplay for a franchise that EVERYONE would have heard of.

A LOT of time in the middle wandering, doubting and feeling sorry for myself. But I stayed with it. And it's starting to come together.

It can happen.

Well done, pretty sure I know the movie you're talking about. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

Happywritermom you're getting there so keep going. I had one bad experience around christmas with an agent and haven't sent a query since. Working myself up for the rejections I know will come before someone loves my stories. I am still convinced someone will:) We're all in it for the long haul here at AW but at least we're all in it together.

waylander
05-20-2009, 12:44 AM
"Two things get you there: talent and persistence" - Peter Lavery, editorial director Tor MacMillan(UK)

wordmonkey
05-20-2009, 03:05 AM
Well done, pretty sure I know the movie you're talking about. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

Long way to go. And a lot can go wrong before a movie makes it to be seen. But it's cool just to be in the mix.

Soon as I can officially talk, I'll share my experiences.

Carlene
05-20-2009, 03:39 AM
Well, I'm glad I read this thread too. Makes me feel a bit better. I've been querying my novel since .... September 2008? So far have amassed about 70 rejections, still have a full and five partials out. Yes, I'm working on a new novel, but have gotten discouraged and stalled. I have all my notes and only have to finish but...find myself making excuses for not writing. Now that I know (and knew all along) that I'm not alone, I"ll finish that sucker and...start the next one!

Thanks for the stories, guys. It really helped me too.

Carlene