A few posts ago, I said I’d share more about my writing experience, and then I haven’t done it because other things have come up. And then I got to go to girls’ camp as a leader and I’ve been out of town for a week. So…here we go.
I left off saying I was going to get some other writers’ opinions. I got really brave and posted my prologue and first chapter on a writers forum I belong to. Boy was I scared. I kind of relate it to being a mother. You have this little thing you’ve created and that you love and you are putting it out there for other people to see. You hope they don’t think it’s ugly. Well…most people didn’t think it was ugly. They thought it could be polished and they had suggestions for what was confusing or otherwise hard to follow, but almost everyone thought the story had potential.
This seems to be the general theme I’m encountering, although now that I’ve worked on the prologue and chapter one a lot, I’m getting less suggestions on how to improve them. Hopefully, this is a good sign. And I realize everyone has their own opinions. At some point, I do have to make a decision on whether a particular comment is just someone’s opinion or whether it will really make my book better.
After I polished up those first little bits, I sent it to a few agents. I’ve heard back from three of them and am still waiting for one. They all sent rejections. That’s all right, and the reason I only sent it to a few at first. There was one other agent, who is a friend of a friend, who I was really waiting to hear back from. Because of the connection, I was hoping I’d get a little more than just a form rejection letter. And I was right. It was that agent who read the first couple of chapters all the way through. She told me the story was good but to work on the writing a little more, that it wasn’t ready for an editor to look at yet. But she did say she’d like to see it again after I cleaned it up. She suggested getting other writers to look at it. That’s exactly what I did, and am in the process of doing. I have five beta readers who are reading it in detail, looking for suggestions and ways to make it more polished.
So far, as I’ve said already, the results are good. I’ll keep working. Everyone who’s read the entire manuscript has loved it, so I’m not going to give up easily.