All Jazzed Up: A Postscript

It’s been a couple of days since I returned home from the writers’ conference, with my head all jazzed up with new strategies and ideas.

Monday was a dead day. Not only did I miss my return flight (they changed the time without telling me), the subsequent red-eye I was scheduled on was two hours late getting to San Francisco. I used the time to write the first chapter of my next book, and this one promises to be less of a downer than the first one. Instead of getting home before 6, the plane landed at about a quarter to 7. However, since I was chock full of enthusiasm, I actually went straight back to my day job and went to work.

Around 2, I started to fade quickly. Back in the day when I was young, staying up all night was a no-brainer. These days, this lady can’t take it. She is old. I barely made it back home before the peepers shut down completely.

Of course, it was just a nap. I had to wake up at 5:30 to go grocery shopping. That’s because the dear Mr. Demonic eats out when I am away.

It was tough to get out of bed, but I did it.

Now… for the news: I participated in the “speed-dating” of agents. I got to talk to two. One said my novel wasn’t interesting enough. I pitched my coming of age novel to the next woman, and she said I could send her a query letter! I do have a slight problem in that the novella doesn’t have an ending, and it wasn’t the book I was hoping to sell in the first place.

I learned that my epic woman’s literature (chick-lit is not the correct genre for the piece, since there’s no hook up at the end) will need to be trimmed by, oh, let’s say one-third? It’s massively huge. I knew there were plot and movement problems, and to have someone tell me it wasn’t interesting is lighting a fire under me. I’m going to let that one sit for a week or two before I attack it again.

I learned a lot of other things too, which I will divulge in later posts. Right now, I have to get some people paid.

It’s good to be back!


10 Responses

  1. So, let it be said that even when I was 19 and head over heels in love with a guy I now hide from…I could never do the all nighter thing. As much as I am CONVINCED that youth is wasted on the young, I’ve gotta tell ya, could never do it. 3 or 4 maybe, I could live on like 3 or 4 hours sleep sure, but milling around like that all night, can’t do it. And I can’t sleep on planes for crap either, so that makes it worse.

  2. Yep, most publishers I know have a kind of rule of thumb: if the printed book will be too big and heavy to fit comfortably in a handbag, its too long. Ruthless editing ALWAYS helps writing.

    But I’m sure its interesting – probably the agent just meant its not interesting *to her* for her particular ‘list’ (i.e. the particular group of books or genre that she is responsible for buying), possibly just because it is too long to fit her format.

    Chin up! 🙂

  3. Someday he’ll be known as the agent who passed you up. Poor guy. 😉

  4. Welcome back!!

  5. Yes, I did wonder how speed dating would work, if you might end up with people who weren’t suitable. It seemed odd, and I think Truce might be right, it might simply have been that you weren’t suitable for his list.

    The one I’m going to in June, they ask that you research and submit a list of ten choices in order of preference, and they assign according to reservation time, first come, first served. I’m very pleased with that.

  6. I wish I had a reservation! There had to be a couple hundred people in that room, for only a dozen agents. Next year they promise to line up more.

  7. what they do at ours is ten-minute appointments, but everybody gets one — it’s part of what you pay for.

  8. Sounds like a great trip! And yes, don’t take the “not interesting” comment too much to heart … but do take the trimming to heart. 🙂

  9. I only read the first 54,000 words so I don’t know what you wrote after that but I think there’s enough going on that it’s interesting. It can hold someone’s interest. However the main problem I saw was repetitiveness. I would have recommended cutting at least 20,000 words from the first 54,000. I do want to see what you did with the rest of it. I think, when I saw it, it may have needed a little bit of re-ordering of the events but without having read the entire thing, I couldn’t really say too much more on that.

    In the end, it’s YOUR novel. Do what you think makes it better. But give yourself some time and space. I think you’re wise to put it away for a while. Then again, I always think you’re wise! 😉

  10. Yes, Corina, the first 11 chapters (that I think I sent you) are a mess. I want to get that down by half at least.

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