On to the Next Project

From LOC: Highway intersection near Belle Glade, Florida. Negro bean pickers hitchhiking
Click to enlarge. From LOC: Highway intersection near Belle Glade, Florida. Negro bean pickers hitchhiking. URL: http://www.loc.gov/item/fsa1997008184/PP/#about-this-item

So I officially finished East of Yesterday. I made a few changes around this website to reflect that fact, including the front page and the East of Yesterday page, under Fiction. I removed the Petroleum Sunset pages for now, because I don’t have the time to finish those stories at present, and I never really considered them “launched”. When I do launch them, I will probably re-issue them under another name that I decided to write under for East of Yesterday. They are more closely related to East of Yesterday than my fairy tales.

I started plotting the second book in the series. I think there will only be two books unless I start weaving other characters into the story in order to continue their stories in later books. I have not decided yet.

In the last few weeks, I have also been going through my other in-progress novel, Magic by Starlight. I only have a few more chapters to re-read, and then I will have two completed, marketable novels on my hands. I will probably continue to write under Tia Nevitt for that series, since it is so different from East of Yesterday, but not so different from my fairy tales. The problem would be juggling the two series. I would need to be able to write full-time in order to write two series.

How many novels have I written altogether? I consider my first three to be trunk novels. The third book, I think, had potential, but my writing was just not quite there yet, and I had not yet grasped the concept of driving the plot forward with every scene. I sometimes think of doing something with it, but then I always have other ideas.

For now, I am committed to these two stories. And right now, my next writing immediate goal is to come out with a high-level/low detail plot outline for the second story in the time travel series.

Ready to Query East of Yesterday. Almost.

I started a blog post called “Ready to Synopsize East of Yesterday” but I never finished the post and now I am finished with both the synopsis and the query.

Part of the reason I made so many changes to the story in the last few months is that it proved impossible to synopsize. I have learned that the process of writing a synopsis will make evident every point in your story that sucks. Because you will find it impossible to write that part of the synopsis.

So I did some rewriting.

I generally enjoy writing synopses. I wrote a blog post and an infographic on the subject some time ago. Still, it took me two weeks to get a two-page synopsis that worked. I ended up writing three versions–one that was too detailed but had lots of voice, one that was concise but lacked voice, and a combination of the above. When I finished that, I went back to the query, but I only made a few tweaks to it because I liked it already. So I am ready. Now I need to come up with a querying strategy.

There are several agents who have read my full manuscripts in the past, and who might like this book, even though it is significantly different from anything else I have written. So they are my top choices. But the question is, do I query them first? The reason I ask this, is after one round of querying, I inevitably think of better ways to query/synopsize, and I revise everything and end up with a better query and synopsis.

On the other hand, one hears all the time that one should not put all one’s eggs in one’s basket. Plus, I think the query is damned good as it is. Any improvement I make, at this point, probably won’t be groundbreaking. Besides, none of the so-called improved queries and synopses ever ended up in a sale.

It has been a very long time since I have sent out a query. I have not queried anyone since before I sold The Sevenfold Spell. I really want an agent for this book, so I’ve been going through the old tools I used to use. AAR, AgentQuery and Publisher’s Marketplace still appear prominently in my Google query. AgentQuery used to be my preferred agent search tool, but the data is looking a bit stale, and I don’t see a good way to check how old each entry is. I

Then I thought of QueryTracker–I remember when the guy first launched it because he emailed me. It has a slew of awards, so I created a account (a new one–the old one seems to have been purged). I just spent the last three hours going through 125 agents who accept science fiction, looking for agents who also accept Historical, and giving each of them a closer look. There’s no category for time travel, so science fiction/historical is the next best thing. I whittled it down to 27 agents.

I found quite a few agents who appear to accept all genres, and QueryTracker’s reports tool was especially helpful here. If said agent have not actually requested any fulls or partials for SF or Historical submissions, I passed them over, for now. I think this set of 27 will give me a good place to start. If I go through them without any success, then I’ll look at the rest of the SF lovers.

I forgot how much work this is!