My goal for April is the finish a 10% cut edit on Divine Fire. Since the manuscript in its current form is 413 pages, that broke down to getting through about 100 pages a week, or 20 pages a day. Strangely, I find the 10% cut to be the least arduous form of editing. Having that goal gives me power to be ruthless with my chopping. Die, darling, die.
I’ve been counting pages post-editing, so that’s given me some padding. And I knew I was going to need some padding because there’s a few things that I still need to all-out rewrite in Divine Fire. I’ve done 55 pages this week and, as of right now, I am at page 303 in the manuscript. And I’ve come to one of those areas that needs to be reworked instead of cleaned up. So, doing all right.
Update: Or I’ll just finish my 10% cut edit and come back to it…which feels like the better plan.
Q is for Queries
As I mentioned back at "A", I think most advice concerning the publishing industry is useless because it’s based on anecdote. I’ve read query letters that resulted in publishing contracts, and then read blog posts by agents and editors that advise against the very things that made those successful query letters successful. A "don’t" can become a "do," or vice versa. I firmly believe that the process is much more subjective than objective. Sometimes, it’s going to be a matter of presenting to the right person on the right day.
So, what *can* I say? Be professional. Follow the guidelines.
If an agent only wants a query letter, only send a query letter. It doesn’t matter whether you think that your work is better served by sending the complete manuscript. That’s not what the agent is asking for. Agents are people, they have their job to do, and I trust that they know their job. Don’t query your idea. That’s wasting everyone’s time. Write your book. Polish it up. If you receive some personal feedback about a submission, take heed of it. (This is something I an resistant to and Eric jumps all over.) If you don’t receive feedback, well, that’s not the job of an agent or editor at this point in the process. For the sake of all that is good, don’t argue with a rejection. Nothing good can come of it.
I know it’s easy to get frustrated with the process. It sucks when the guidelines advise space-and-half 11pt Couier on egg-shell paper and you’ve researched an agent to the point of knowing her favorite breakfast cereal, but the rejection letter is a quarter sheet of paper addressed to "Dear Author." It’s not nice, but that’s how it goes. But in the end, if you want the traditional publishing route, this is part of it.
And, in any case, nothing happens if you don’t get your work out into the world. You have to do it somehow.