It was hard, but I did what everyone says you should do. I finished my book and (revised it four or five times, developed at least seven drafts of a query letter, made a few floundering attempts to submit it to agents out of burning curiosity, got quality feedback from some beta readers who are way smarter than I am) then PUT IT DOWN.
All of those parenthetical things are not supposed to happen until after you’ve PUT YOUR DUMB BOOK DOWN for a month or so, but I really couldn’t help myself. I was too excited. Like, compulsively excited. Therefore, I didn’t do things in the right order.
In actuality, it’s OK. I’m just kind of going about things in a roundabout way. Like a slinky. That’s actually the only satisfying image that pops into my head when I think about this post-writing process.
You see, my initial fantasy was a powerful one. It went like this:
1. Finished rough draft
2. Send casual email query to agent with one or two details of my masterpiece
3. Said agent shows up at my door the next morning. The poor woman has been running down route 2 all night. Her car stalled at Alewife and she had no money for the bus, but dammit, she wasn’t going to let me get away. So she ran in her stocking feet. The poor woman is bleeding but her eyes are wild and she seems to feel no pain. She HAD to represent my novel. That’s why she hopped in her SUV at 10pm and started driving from her Brooklyn apartment the second she finished reading my email. How did she find my address? I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter. We’re together now and no one in this wide world can tear us apart.
In the back of my mind, I was pretty sure about how these events would unfold. Alas, there seems to be a little more to it. But I had to go through the motions and experience countless mornings with literally no one pounding at my door at 6am in order to revise my process.
THELMA has been with the wonderful Ms. Jess Barnett (artist, former roommate, coworker, copy editor) for about a month and I haven’t looked at it in that time. In a few days I will get it back and begin another loop of revisions. I have a few more brilliant readers who are ready to give me some feedback and I also found this…
If you love short lists, you will not love this list. However, if you’re a writer who is really trying to poke and prod your manuscript, screenplay, play, etc. this might be really very useful to you: 40 Questions to Test Your Manuscript .
What. A. Great. List.
SHIFTING GEARS, My Dark Love premiers tonight at ImprovBoston at 10pm! I’ll be the one wearing black.