Tuesday, July 19, 2011

C.W. Gortner's Submission Advice

When C.W. Gortner found out Jennifer Weltz, his agent, was interested in me, he jumped at the chance to give me advice. Nice guy.
He gave me an audio book called “How to Write Historical Fiction” by Persia Woolley. It was his Bible when he wrote The Last Queen, but he doesn’t need it anymore… obviously, since he’s published four books.
Now that two agents and an editor have requested my book, I feel pressured to send them Sacred Fire as soon as humanly possible.
It’s not that I think they’ll lose interest; no matter how many months go by, my book will be about the same thing. It’s not that I think they’ll forget me; when I send them the book, I’ll write “Requested Material” in the subject line, so they’ll know they liked it at some point in time.
Mostly I’m worried that if I take too long to send it, they’ll think I have a poor work ethic. Kris Waldher told me repeatedly that agents are used to waiting. It’s not like they sit in front of their computer twiddling their thumbs and wondering why you haven’t sent the book yet. Still, the pressure is there.
My eagerness to get the ball rolling doesn’t help. Sometimes I see my book as the key to getting out of my life. When this happens, the writing suffers. I get unhappy, impatient, and impulsive.
C.W. Gortner told me over and over again to take as long as it takes. Make it perfect. I only have one chance at this. He’s right, of course. It would be tragic if she didn’t accept me not because I didn’t have the skill, but because I didn’t use my skill to make the book as good as it needs to be.
I had an idea. I’m thinking I will set a deadline way past when I think the book will be finished and refuse to send it until then. I choose October 31. If I can wait that long, as a reward, I get to do NaNoWriMo for Fierce. I did it last year for Hunger, and I’ve been aching to do it again all year.
Here’s to patience! *sigh*

2 comments:

  1. I'm hoping that Camp NaNoWriMo in August will kick me into gear rewriting THE LULLABY. It's been taking me waaaay too long.

    When I read about these people that are interested in you, I get really excited. That's what I love about the writing community.

    -crossing my fingers for you-

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wish you were doing Nano in November! I'm going to do it, and I plan on making a big deal out of it. Maybe you could wait? *sends frowny pleading face* Or you could do the first half in August and the next in November?

    Nice title.

    Anyone else planning on Nano?

    ReplyDelete

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