Once more into the trench, dear friends, once more,
And clog our e-mail with our rejected.
If I'd planned ahead, I probably could have parodied the whole thing. But it's late and I'm tired, so two lines are all you get. :P
But yes, it's time to start the query process, and enter those trenches once again. I was going to say I hadn't done this since 2013, then I looked back at some dates and realized no, I queried The Accidental Warlock in 2014. Looking back at those notes, I realize I didn't get as much silence from those queries as I thought - my silence-vs-rejection ratio was about 50%. But I remember the silence more. I noticed the silence more. Getting rejected is something I'm used to by now, but opening e-mail and hoping even for bad news and seeing nothing? There's something different about that, something colder and more bleak.
I mean, for all its problems, Skyborne got one partial request from an agent and one full request due to a contest. (A full request that never would have panned out anyway since the book wasn't a romance, but all the same.) And I thought TAW was a much better book than that. So hearing back what felt like so much nothing? That hit me hard, and I think that silence was a major factor in why I set the book aside after only a few months of querying. That, and 2014 was a bad year for a lot of things, writing among them.
...my music player just started playing "Don't Stop Believin'", so it's clearly time for me to stop brooding on the past.
I'd like to think that things will be different this time. Yes, I've thought that with every book, but I have a better feeling about The Book of Lost Runes than ones I've queried before. Have I said that about past books I've queried? Of course. If nothing else, I'm well-aware of my own vicious cycles. But I think I can do better this time. I have a good query, thanks to all the feedback I got here. I might actually have a good synopsis, since scribbling that out went much more smoothly than I anticipated. (How I'm going to fit it into one page for one agent on my list, though, I have no idea.)
Most importantly, I have a story that features what's probably the best version I've ever written of two characters who have lived in my head since 2002. And if all goes well, I have a reasonably good idea of what's going to happen to them next. Yes, I'll keep working on that while I query, in hopes I'll finally have a need for a sequel plot.
It's never easy to toss my work out into the world and politely scream "PLEASE LOVE ME." But I keep telling myself, I have to keep telling myself, somewhere out there is someone who wants to represent the kind of books I want to write. I just have to find them.
In that search, I've been making use of Query Tracker's literary agent search, which at current count has over 150 agents who are looking for fantasy. I haven't plowed through the entire list yet to see who sounds like someone I want to query, but y'know, that's an awesome addition to the list I already have. And I'm going to look into small presses as well, especially after seeing Rena's awesome cover from my last entry. If anyone else has any suggestions or sources for this kind of thing, please share.
Next week: IWSG, wherein I shall confess the sins of my writing past and encourage others to do the same. Bwa ha ha.