My First Agent Oops

Outside my writing bubble, I’m a carefree, laid back, casual guy. Whatever you want to do, I’m gravy. Inside my writing bubble, on the other hand, I’m a mad scientist sweating bullets while staring lasers into a (seemingly) empty beaker.

I’m never happy with my work. I’m my own worst critic. I study a page before I move on. Doubly so with submitting queries to agents.

I finally did it. I inadvertently sent an outdated chapter as part of a package to an agent. And I wanted to do this one special, too, so I wrote the whole query from scratch, opened my heart, pitched the story in a much more realistic, respectable manner (instead of my Book Trailer-esque query). I grabbed the file (without looking: I had just saved and exited five minutes bef0re) and sent.

Then, being anal as I am, I opened the files I sent them to make certain. Horror knows no bounds than an anal-retentive writer realizing a fatal mistake. Haha

It was the similar .docx file instead of the specially saved .doc file I had prepared. It hurt. Deep down, I freaked out a little like when a child loses a parent at Disneyland.

So I sent a second email, apologizing, with the proper attachment. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll take pity on my plight and disregard the first attachment. Fingers crossed.

On an unrelated note, rewrite 4 of IGMAN (It Gave Me a Name) is going very smooth. I had to strip down the first five chapters due to a huge flow issue (Ch 2-4 consisted of a conversation between the MC and an assistant. Literally Hi How Are Ya with nothing else going on). It’s 100k words, this book. I’m at page 93 of 173. After reading two chapters in a day, it just starts to flow, and it’s heck to separate yourself from reading it and just study the thing.

 

David and His Shade Query Letter

I have a nasty habit: I love to screw with my query letters as a mindless pastime. It’s like writing a short story, where I have to make every word perfect. Theoretically every one of my words will sit just as perfect. Anyway, I think I’m finally at a place where I can show it off. (Note: I wrote this book in 6 months. I am currently in my first rewrite. It’s not ready to go out.) Please tell me what you think.

Ms. Agent/Publisher:

David and His Shade, my completed 115k YA Modern Fantasy novel, takes place on an alternative Earth where magic of all faith systems is real: religion, mythology, philosophy, and realities collide on an island off the coast of Oregon.

David Price thinks the greatest challenge he’d face his 7th grade summer is a three mile high spiritual journey to the top of a mountain in Tibet. As one of a hundred summer interns at a school of magic, the mountain is nothing compared to the challenges he’ll face to simply gain admittance to the school.

Unfortunately, David’s haunted. He’s been haunted since as far back as he can remember. Usually the shade David calls Cold Man only haunts his nightmares and seldom makes guest appearances in the real world, but when he enters the school, Cold Man seems to have taken an active interest in David’s magical career.

With shadowy “cleaners” watching over him as he sleeps, hanging gardens that kill the unsuspecting, and subject matter that could land him in prison for life if abused, David’s summer internship at Cliffsedge School of the Mind is anything but easy. Luckily for him, David found some pretty cool friends, including a bubbly redhead, Constance, that are as adventurous as he is.

Demons, angels, and reanimated elves are guest speakers. A tribe of “Lost Boys” bent on stealing magical wands for their Neverland war has its eye on David. And those nightmares David had when growing up are suddenly much more real, and ten times more dangerous.

Coupled with getting to know his classmates, dealing with a magical school filled with ghosts, mythical creatures, and political intrigue, and learning material way above his grade level, David must confront some of his darkest fears by learning the name of his shade—and finding a way to make it stop—while passing the internship to get into 8th grade.

The rest is just peer pressure.

I appreciate your time.

 

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.