Monday, December 29, 2008

Confession # 6 - Editing is Harder than I Thought

I set the goal of finishing editing my novel before winter break ended and I had to start up college again. I'm still working 40 hours a week, however, so I only work in the evenings and on the weekend.

I found this great add-on to the Firefox Browser. It's called Leech Blocker, and you can configure it to block websites from yourself during certain times. Not only can you block the websites from yourself, but you can even block access to your preferences at certain times, so you don't fall into the habit of just turning off the blocker.

It's been enormously helpful in not letting me waste time. Even still, I'm only on page 50 of editing.

Page 50! Over three weeks! I have never edited this slow in my life, but for the first time it's quality, not quantity.

My agent (is it okay that I still get happy when I say that?) advises to bring the word count from 63,000 up to 80,000 words if possible. Right now I'm hovering at 65,500 because I add a new paragraph and delete the old paragraph upon which it was based.

I am also seeking a new title. Right now it's between Cristable and Antebellum. Cast your votes by commenting! So far, to the people I've asked in person, it's Antebellum by a 100% landslide. What is your opinion?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I am officially signed with the Bradford Literary Agency

Recently I had a wonderful reviewer go through the WW stories on Fictionpress and give them a hearty reviewing. I, reading these, and having given up on getting a literary agent, got inspired by these reviews to re-work the series and make it outstanding.

I was ready to get down to business.

The very next day, I received this email from a lit agency I had queried by snail mail back in July:

Hi Savannah,

I am really enjoying Woman's World! Would you mind please emailing me the full ms along with short synopses for the other 2 books in the trilogy? Thanks!

Now, it had been a long while since I'd heard from agents, and I'd had all rejects before, so I wasn't going to get my hopes up... but... no one else, having read a partial, requested a full manuscript. That was something.

So, of course, I sent her the manuscript. I also researched her and her agency. I saw a picture of her online, and something happened.

When I met my current fiancee, the moment I saw him it was like he was composed of more vivid color than his surroundings. He was just so /bright/. There was an instantaneous moment of knowledge that I /must/ get his phone number.

Call me crazy, but when I saw this agent for the first time, something similar happened: that spark of recognition. Nothing romantic, obviously, but perhaps the click of destiny?

Either that, or I was really more excited than I let myself acknowledge, but this felt right, like it /had/ to work.

The next day she wrote back with: Send me the next book, please.

Excitement mounting, I sent her Apostasy. And on the third day? You guessed it.

Finally on the third day she wrote me with this: I'd like to give you a call tomorrow for a bit of a chat. Can you let me know what time zone you are in and your phone number and a good time to call? Thanks!

This is a VERY GOOD THING. There were two outcomes, according to Either A) She wanted to tell me that she really enjoyed my work, but it wasn't ready, or just wasn't for her, or B) she wanted to represent me.

We scheduled a call for Friday morning. The hour came, my personal laptop and notes were set up in my office's conference room. She called. I took lunch break, went into the room, and closed the door.

Immediately I liked her voice. I don't like my own voice, and so am conscious of other peoples', and hers was lovely. I had done my research on her agency, which you should ALWAYS DO (see this article) so I was prepared to talk about her history, while she was just learning mine.

Her name is Laura Bradford. She told me she had spent the last three days doing nothing but reading my work. She loved it. It's got its flaws of course, but we were both aware of that. We discussed several things that had to change, and I was completely excited to begin working on it.

We discussed our personal histories, and her already signed writers at the agency, what her processes were, how publishing works, and then she offered to represent me.

She emailed me the contract (which I looked over, and contested a few points in email a few days later).

What you're supposed to do at this point is alert the other agents who are still considering your manuscripts that you have been offered representation so they have a chance to offer it too. I sent off four emails to agents who, to my knowledge, were still holding 'scripts. One no longer worked for the agency (juicy gossip, I'm guessing), one passed, and I didn't hear from the other two, so...

I signed it. On December 10th I officially signed my first agent contract and mailed it to her.

My family is thrilled and so proud, obviously, but I didn't have any jumping up and down moments. I wasn't 'excited' in the true sense of the word. I was very, deeply pleased, like a smug cat.

Yes. At last.

This is a moment I have been working towards for most of my conscious life. This it the moment I feared would never happen, the moment I knew I had to /make/ happen. Many writers go their whole lives without getting an offer. On the other hand, many get offers when they are not very good writers.

All in all, this is a wonderful opportunity. I'm taking the next month of college vacation to completely rework WW (for the absolute best, just trust me), and then we will begin submitting to publishing agencies. It could take as short as 24 hours to sell it, or it could take years.

Anyway, I had to tell, of course, my faithful reviewers at Fictionpress. You can keep up with me here on this blog. I'll try to keep everyone as up to date as possible.

Also, this allows for some wonderful learning opportunities. I'll be sure to share!


Drop me a review.

Copy and paste this review into the comment box if you don't want to write something personal, just to let me know you've been here:

Dear Savannah,

Congratulations! As one of your FP readers I am so excited to finally maybe one day see WW in print! Good luck!

-Reviewer X