The Next Circle of Hell, Vol. 2

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

RaggyCat

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Thank you, guys! I'm glad you all like the cover - especially Fuchsia, who has read the book, albeit an earlier draft. I really, genuinely do (and I probably need to, ahem, watch I May Destroy You). I wasn't initially fussed by the social media vs trade announcement but I am now very glad that my agent pushed for trade. It really feels like she's looking after me.

I'm glad you're feeling invested in your new book, Fuchsia. That always helps cushion any potential disappointments - even though I bet you'll sell more with the paperback release!
 

Elle.

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Congrats on the announcement, Raggy. I seriously love your cover!

I highly recommend watching I May Destroy You it's an unflinching, raw and honest look at themes similar to your book. Plus, Michaela Coen is amazing.
 

litdawg

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Just got a decline from a major publisher who had my full mss. I received the update from my agent when I was in a reunion meeting of a writing group that had read the draft. It was a real kick in the gut. It's not going to leave an indelible mark, but definitely a downer day for me.
 

Fuchsia Groan

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I’m so sorry, litdawg! Hang in there and keep believing in your work. I know it’s cold comfort at best, but it really is true that you only need one.
 

RaggyCat

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I'm really sorry, litdawg. What horrible timing too! Echoing Fuchsia that you do only need one. You've got the full MS out with a few editors at the moment, right? Crossing my fingers!
 

litdawg

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Thanks, all! Today's a better day. Day job is always there with tons of work to distract me, and I revised a few poems and sent them out into the world. Getting back on the horse is always the way I've dealt with disappointment. This fiction game is awkward because I have an agent between me and the horse. Fortunately, there are other horses.
 

Carrie

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Sigh. Still waiting to hear back from my mentor/would-be new agent. Just over two weeks is not excessive. I realize that. But it is hard to plan what to do next. How is everyone else holding up?
 
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scarywicket

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sorry to hear that, carrie--two weeks can feel endless when you're waiting on news. hopefully your mentor/would-be new agent will get back to you soon!

meanwhile, nothing new over here. i had heard a few people say on twitter/elsewhere that editors may be trying to wrap up any unread subs they've been holding on to before the holiday and the new year, but i don't know how much stock to put in that. has this been anyone else's experience?
 
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A.P.M.

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I'm still waiting as well, and working on my next MS. Now that the holidays are here I'm not expecting much until January.
 
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RaggyCat

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Sorry to hear it's waiting all around for the Next Circle! I've been thinking of your agent-mentor situation, Carrie, and hoping for an update. A.P.M, I'm so sorry your wait it continuig! At this stage you start thinking you'll never hear.

From what I've seen anecdotally, I think scarywicket is right and a lot of editors are effectively switching off until the new year. I do know when we were discussing delivery dates for my WIP, my editor said (way back in October) that December is always busy, and that she wouldn't be able to get on the manuscript if I delivered around Christmas time.

No news here. I'm struggling a little with the book I'm trying to write at the moment, which is the second of the two IP books I'm contracted for. I'm not fully sure why - perhaps because the core idea isn't (IMO) as strong as the one for my first IP book? It's also very hard to pull off, essentially involving an unreliable narrator. Wish me luck!
 

litdawg

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That's rough, Carrie, especially after his track record of incredibly fast responses. I wouldn't read too much into the delay, though. A careful read almost certainly means a solid response.

I can imagine some editors will clear their desks before taking a holiday break. Fingers crossed for us all!

IP work sounds hard, Raggy. The characters will survive to play in a different book no matter what you write. I'd be twitchy to kill someone off who is supposed to be carrying the franchise :)
 
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Fuchsia Groan

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Crossing everything for you, Carrie! Waiting is so hard.

Oh, that does sound hard, RaggyCat! I love unreliable narrators, though. Are these the same characters from your previous book, or is it a different retelling (if you’re allowed to say)?

I’m trying to release a new teaser for my book every week on TikTok/Insta (teaser Tuesday). I feel a bit like I’m shouting about the book and being a pest, but after what happened with the last book—which I could not shout about because it was 2020—I’m ready to throw my pride to the winds and just do it. I like this book and don’t want it to disappear.
 
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RaggyCat

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I love reliable narrators too, but to date I've never successfully pulled one off. This second IP book is an entirely different fairy tale retelling, with just one narrator this time. I think actually one of the problems is that everyone knows the fairy tale it's based on very well - so surprising the reader and keeping tension high is really, really hard as you're delivering exactly what they're expecting. There is a twist, but the idea was for me to withhold it right until the end so the reader gets a huge WTF moment - but I'm now feeling like we might need the twist to be apparent sooner.

I think next week if I'm still feeling this way I might call in a zoom with my editor to discuss this.

Fuchsia - You're not being a pest with your book promo at all! Once a week shoutout actually feels quite restrained to me, so I really wouldn't worry. In fact, I wonder if Teaser Tuesday should be a thing? OnceI get closer to my next publication date I might do something similar! I think I read somewhere that as far as social media goes, a smart split of posts is 20% promotion to 80% other stuff (general musing, sharing other's news, talking about other books, etc).

Also, litdawg - I hope you're doing OK after your R on that full the other week.
 
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utesfanami

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Submission replies are soooooo much slower this year than last year for me.

Gotta focus on the next project, but I can't stop checking my email a gazillion times a day.

I'm guessing I won't hear anything, good or bad, until January. Seems editors have slipped into their reading caves.
 
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Carrie

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Shot down! Well, more accurately, my mentor/would-be agent did not like the direction of my revisions and suggested a direction that is just not what my book is or wants to be.

It's disappointing because it's also clear he likes my writing and characters. I have examined my heart and I know if his suggestions were ones I could make I would be delighted. I really have dealt with defensiveness and recognize it when it rears its ugly head. But these comments just make me sad because he obviously wants my book to be something it isn't.

Ah well! The odd thing is that all his suggestions for approaching revision were dead on -- even though they brought me to a place he didn't want me to go. My book is more of what it is supposed to be than ever before.

And, of course, he may be right. It may not sell. But I am not convinced. I've had enough interest so far to make me believe that I have something interesting enough to keep pursuing. And so I will!

Nice to be out of limbo anyway. And I'm still not going back to my old agent!

Best wishes on all your endeavors.
 

Fuchsia Groan

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I’m so sorry to hear that, Carrie, but also glad you stayed true to your vision for the book. I think for all of us there’s a line between things we’re willing to change for marketability and things we’re not willing to change, and it’s vital to know where that line is.
 

A.P.M.

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Ouch, that is unfortunate Carrie, but it sounds like you're making the best choice for your book. Because at the end of the day, it's yours, not any agent's or would-be agent's.
 
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perzsa

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Hi all!

I just wanted to poke my head in and say hi. I've been on sub for just a few weeks now and don't expect to hear anything before the new year, but I've been reading through this thread (like, yearsssss ago, I haven't made it up to the present day haha) and it's been super interesting and informative. I almost don't know what I'll read when I get to the current posts! Anyway, looking forward to chatting more in the future!
 
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Carrie

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it sounds like you're making the best choice for your book.
Thanks, APM. He wrote back today, still willing to work with me but only if I make a "significant" revision (presumably as he outlined) and, honestly, it's just a different book and not the one I'm writing. It feels oddly like a romantic break-up. ("Couldn't I make this work? Should I have tried a little harder?")

Ah well! I have learned a lot from the experience, some of which I am still processing. But I appreciate your support.