Backlog and Query Letters

I’ve decided it’d be in my best interest to blog three times a week. It’ll get me in the rhythm of writing shorter entries, and possibly upgrading my writing skills to something worth reading.

I’ve written a lot of dead stories. From when I was in 5th grade, and my mom pushed me to try and write something for the school newspaper, to going through high school and spending late nights with five of my closest friends writing a script for an action movie we’d never finish, most of my stories are dead. I got an A+ in a college course for handing in a scene from that script, but needless to say, I’ll probably never touch it again *(unless, of course, any one of those five friends decided to pursue it. Then I’d pick it up in a heartbeat).

I wrote two fanfictions: one for Animorphs, and one for Dinotopia. Dinotopia was in seventh grade. I wrote the whole thing longhand, and later transcribed it to the computer. Despite its premise of peace and utopic coexistance, it was a violent hodgepodge of superpower and Transformers-esque fighting. The villain was the class bully. I drew pictures. Think Dragonball Z without the anime. I didn’t know anime.

The second fanfic was Animorphs. I was my own character, invading the space of the five shapeshifting, eco-friendly friends bent on saving the world from aliens. I actually finished this novel. The first of many, many tries. But, like Paolini’s Eragon, this book is unpublishable without the right hookups. And I wouldn’t want it published anyway.

They, along with twenty-five or so other unfinished books from that time period, are dead.

In the past three years I’ve finished four books. I think that’s a pretty good amount. Are they publishable? Possibly. Are they in danger of falling into the “dead” folder on my computer? Possibly.

I’m writing on another seven, at any given time. Are they worth knowing? Definitely. If not, I wouldn’t be writing them.

Which brings me to the present. I’m staring at my screen, writing query letters to agents and publishers concerning my books. I have three I’m trying to get out, and I’m wondering if I’m ever going to be good enough to be published. On top of that, if I’m even going to be good enough to write a query letter that the publisher/editor wants to see. I’ve studied the art of writing query. I’ve written beautiful, half-page perfection, until I read another publisher and she says, “hahaha those losers who write all stilted will never get published!” So I write how she recommends. I write like I’m pitching an idea. Still no dice. Why? Faulty content? Stupid ideas?

I’ve sent out over two hundred query letters/query emails, and I’ve not got a single bite. It’s not that I can’t take punishment or criticism. In fact, I want it. I thirst for it. But I sometimes wonder, like tonight, whether I’m pursuing the wrong dream. Maybe instead of writing I should be plumbing. At least that profession pays something.


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