Six months later, the time has come to let go.
I started querying THE BOOK OF LOST RUNES back in November - on the first of November, naturally, because it seemed like a good time and I liked the symbolism of starting something new with the new month. I sent out my first letters to seven agents whom I thought would make particularly good matches for this book, and had a list of twenty-something total. Since then, I've delved into a bunch of different sites and lists, and sought out a great many agents who are looking for adult fantasy.
In the time since then, I've sent out a total of ninety queries, and received largely rejection and silence in return. The only bright points in this process have been two partial requests (both said no), two "likes" from Twitter pitches (both said no), and one dodged bullet.
Being able to call those "bright points" is yet another reason why writers drink.
This is the farthest I've ever gone with a book. After writing so damn many books (most of which were bad), I really thought I had something with BoLR. I'm not sure if it was the "book of my heart", as some writers say about some of their stories, but most anything with Shiloh & Alexi in their various incarnations is a story that's close to me. Which, of course, only made the rejections feel more personal.
I know they weren't personal. They never are, unless an agent checked my twitter feed and was grossly offended by me making bad jokes or something. :P But the fact that some people wanted to read even part of the book gave me hope. It felt like a sign, y'know? Like I really had something and I just had to find the right person.
But that never happened. I still have queries out, and I don't think it's going to happen. I told myself that I'd query for at least six months, and consider my options then. Over that time, I've lost faith in BoLR, and mostly think about how I could do it better. Maybe it just wasn't the right sort of story, maybe I didn't do my original ideas justice, maybe I tried to make it too many things at once. I'll never know. I just know it's time to trunk the book and move on.
No matter how much it hurts to leave this one behind after all that I've put into it.
It does me a lot of good to know that the current book is going well. I hit 30K words tonight, and I'm having a lot of fun with this. Even though I started plotting this back in 2014 and thought it could have been ready last year, I'm still discovering all kinds of things about the characters and the worlds it takes place in, and working on it is constantly surprising. I can tell it'll need a lot of edits, but that's nothing new; working with a half-dozen completely new characters and worlds means I'm not going to get everything right the first time.
Especially when I realize that most of a character's development is post-mortem.
Anyway. This is, I'm sure, just another step in the grand learning experience of being a writer. It's not that I have a problem with the learning experience, I'd just like to experience some other part of it eventually. Which is, of course, why I keep trying.
Next week: IWSG: Embrace Your Weird.