Saturday, September 16, 2006

Plan B & C

Well, it's been over a week since I resigned from my position as a fiction editor of an on-line literary fiction magazine. I've sent a couple of feelers out, regarding my interest in joining the staff of a few other lit magazines I feel would be a good match for me. I just have to wait and see what develops. But, I'm not really a wait and see kind of person. I like action! And right now, though I'm not actively editing the work of other writers, I am deep in revision on my first novel.

I hadn't intended this blog to be about my writing, but in light of the unexpected developments, I am going to turn my blogging energy toward documenting a bit of what is happening regarding my adventures in seeking publication for my first novel.

Here's where the status of my manuscript stands right now . . .

After sending my first batch of six query letters out on June 15th, I have had two requests for a full read and one request for a partial read. The results of the first read from an agent affiliated with a very well respected and experienced agency came in at the end of August. She felt I needed to weave in more of one of my major thematic elements into the story, so the end result didn't feel "tacked on". I agree, and I am actively making those changes.

She also suggested the plot be ratcheted up--creating higher stakes drama to add more appeal for the big publishing houses. I'm not completely on board with that revision suggestion, though I am addressing it to a certain degree. Most importantly, this agent did request I resubmit the entire manuscript if I saw fit to make the revisions she suggested, and I will be doing that within the next week or so.

The second request for a full read is very exciting to me. On a complete whim, I researched the identity of the editor of my favorite author, and I sent my unsolicited query to this editor at one of the major publishing houses--major enough for the publisher to clearly state in the submission guidelines that they do NOT accept unsolicited queries and or manuscripts. But, I read a recently published on-line interview given by this particular editor, and she stated that occasionally she does read unsolicited queries, and she does request to see the manuscripts if her interest is peeked enough. I GOT LUCKY and peeked her interest. I landed my full manuscript in her hands via my unsolicited query, sans any agent intervention. If my luck continues and I do snag a contract, I will bring an agent on board to work with me on the contract.

Then, just to sweeten my journey a little bit more, this week a second agent, from a second batch of queries I sent out in mid August, requested a partial read of the first two chapters. I couldn't be more delighted with the responses I have received so far regarding my query. But, whether or not I can bring the manuscript up to par and make it appealing enough for the first agent or subsequent agents to offer a contract is yet to be seen, but like I said, "I'm not a wait and see sort of person" so I'm spending all my time an energy on getting my manuscript to gleam.

The way I look at things, maybe it's a good thing I'm not actively involved in editing the work of other writers right now, reserving my exclusive attention to seeing to it that my first novel gets published.

There was one more interesting development regarding my resignation from the literary magazine . . . it turns out I wasn't the only editor that resigned! The two of us are fast forming a networking friendship. Stay tuned for a possible collaboration between her blog and mine, regarding an on-line, tag team editing duo featuring the two of us helping a few readers polish up their flash fiction pieces in an open forum format.

Be back soon, with more news regarding the journey of my first novel and a possible opportunity to submit flash fiction pieces directly to me for some voyeuristic on-line editing, by not one, but TWO fiction editors.


Paprikapink said...

Lots of exciting threads left dangling in this blog entry! I'm ready for an update. But having the most unupdated blog in the neighborhood, I'm in no position to wheedle.

Literary Fiction Editor said...

Thank you, Paprikapink for the nudge to update :-)

Also, I did find a faulty link in my e-mail profile as you suspected. Any comments that may have been blocked are now free to flow my way.

Now, about your most unupdated blog in the neighborhood . . . yours . . .