Editing / Agenting / Publishing

I’ve had some unexpected time to edit the manuscript.  Now I only have a few more pages to look through.  I’m happy with the ending – it received a big tweak / rewrite a few drafts ago and it has made the GIANT a much better novel.  I can’t be more specific – I don’t want to through out any spoilers.

I’ve received a few polite rejection letters and even more no-responses.  So my A list of agents have all passed and I think I’m going to pass on querying the B list.  For a number of reasons:  the agent doesn’t focus on the GIANT’s genre, I get the feeling I wouldn’t be a priority, and/or they have no website (viable website).  More about the last item.  At least one agent I’ve looked seem to have a permanently under construction website.  Other agents have no website.  Others have a site but their email address is @aol or @juno, or even @compuserve.  I’m not the most tech-savy person in the world, but I need someone representing me to have a website and an email address that points to that site.

And without an agent I don’t have a hope of contacting a big-time publisher.  The big publishers don’t accept unsolicited material.  Sure, there’s the famous slush pile – but that’s not the way I want to go about this – there are other options these days.

So, I’m leaning heavily towards e-publishing the GIANT.  E-readers have exploded in the past few years.  I don’t own such a device, but I have a lot of friends that do.  The novel itself is solid at this point.  I’ve been pulling quotes for use in promotional material.  I’ve made notes for images and graphics – for the book cover and advertising.  I have some small-scale marketing / PR experience so I think I can make a go of it.

Updates to follow.

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The edits roll on

Past the first 6 chapters I continued my edit – I was on a roll and figured the length of time away from the story would give me a fresh perspective.  The seventh chapter is the beginning of the second half of the book and man did it need some massive editing.  It had always been a problem chapter – I felt I needed to dump of ton of exposition in there.  I thought I had it in decent shape though.  Guess not.

I ran through an on-screen edit, decided it wasn’t enough, and printed out a physical copy.  The paper bled by the end of the edit.  I restructured and reordered more than half the chapter.  I sprinkled the exposition through the length of the chapter instead of front-loading it and boring the reader.  Then I cut out some fluff.

I entered the edits into the computer and then reread the chapter.  Four passes of the chapter tightened it up well.  The chapter follows the main character as he attempts to explore and then escape a dangerous city – I felt much the same by the end.  Finally I have escaped the chapter.  Now I’m on to the rest of the story.

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New Query is Out!

The new query is complete and released to the world.  It would have been out a few weeks ago, but reading through agents’ requirements I saw they wanted a synopsis.  Of course.  I had a synopsis (from the first round of queries two years ago).  The synopsis was labeled “good”.  Opps.  Some sort of clerical labeling error.

The synopsis should have been titled “needs massive restructuring and a deep injection of interesting words”.  Or something like that.  Not so wordy maybe.  Well.

Anyway, the synopsis is wrapped up and packaged with the query letter and sent out into the world.  Perhaps you’re an agent reading this right now?  Perhaps you’re a Russian spam commenter confused and the disallowal of comments.  Either way I’m happy with this new query.  The old query was too short and didn’t capture the spirit of the GIANT.

Previously I had read everything I could about how to write a query letter, including a requirement for the letter to be under 250 words.  I ditched that rule this time around.  And every other rule.  I wrote a letter to interest an agent and/or publisher.  Then I direct them to this very website.  Read the first two chapters – they’re much better than they were a few months ago.  I’ve cut out a few thousand words from the first 6 chapters – the story flows much better now.

Anyway, I’m querying again.

So, wish me luck everyone.

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New Query Letter

For five months (?) I’ve been working on a new query letter.  To start I pulled pieces of the manuscript and other query letter versions into a new super-query letter.  It was a mess, but a mess beats a blank page.  So I went to work editing the mess, crossed out everything, and pulled out a blank piece of paper.  I grabbed enough good lines to make half a letter, then went to work editing.  One night I would edit on a physical print, the next night enter those edits into the digital file.  I’m up to forty revisions.  Or so.

I haven’t looked at the letter for a few weeks.  I pulled it out, hoping not to cringe.  There are two minor corrections to make. That’s it.  I smiled.  It’s there, finished.  Ready to mail.  The new letter explains the book so much better than the first letter.

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Looking Back

theGIANTbook.com’s documentary/blog is now running on a wordpress based blog.  WordPress seems to do better (than my previous blog engine) in search engines, has more features, and once you figure out the template structure, not so hard to customize the look of the page.  And I lost the password to my previous blog engine.

During the update one thing stuck out at me – I didn’t know what I was doing.  No outlines, no character sketches, and no clue how the story would end.  The writing was more painful than it needed to be and more sporadic than it should have been.  I’m writing a second novel (untitled) and the going is much smoother.  Every character has a full name and at least a two line backstory.  I have an extensive outline.  I wasn’t 100% sure on the ending, but now I know exactly what’s going to happen.  In addition to being comforting, knowing the ending helps weave in subplot and give some weight to the story.


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