Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Now What Should I Be Doing?

I am in a weird place. For so long I have always had this one huge, indomitable project pressing on my shoulders and nagging my subconscious. Well, this weekend, Saturday morning to be precise, at about 4 AM, I decided that I had finished my novel. I closed my laptop and went to bed. I slept really well.

A few hours later, I got up and made breakfast. My poor wife is sick, so she did not play into these scenes. I fed and entertained our children. I took them to the park, and then to McDonald's. We had a nice enjoyable day. That afternoon, back at home, I was sitting with my wife. I was holding her hand. She looked miserable. I said, "I don't know if this means a whole lot to you, but I have to tell you... I finished my novel."

She may have nodded. She may have just been sleepy. She said, "That's great." Then she asked if I could take care of dinner. I totally get where she's coming from. I finished writing. That's great. Now what?

Time to unleash it on the world, right? Well, at least a few innocent, unsuspecting friends. I made a short list of the people that I know who I would trust with something like this. People that I'd shared my secret with, some of them only very recently. And I emailed them the Word doc and asked if they would read it.

It feels so odd to be done and now, just to be in the waiting phase. In fact, it was so weird, that I stayed up all night on Sunday and made mountains of edits! Then, I emailed out the new revised version to my involuntary beta readers on Monday morning. Now I'm just in the waiting phase... so how come I keep re-reading parts of my manuscript?


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on finishing your work. That is quite an achievement! If you haven't done so already, get the latest edition of The Writer's Market and look for publishers who might be interested. Don't be afraid to send your manuscript out. The most anyone could say is 'no,' and then all you have to do is send the ms to someone else. Good luck!

Shawn Butler said...

Thank you! That's a great comment, too. I signed up for the free newsletter from Writer's Market and am looking for agents that I can send query letters off to. I think I would really like to go the agent route rather than directly to publishers. Is that advisable? This is all new and kind of "fantasy"-like for me.

Anonymous said...

Yes, definitely. I'm not sure a publisher would look at a work not sent through an agent. They usually indicate this by stating they don't accept unsolicited manuscripts.

You might also look into what's involved in having your work published as an e-book. Not as exciting as hard copy, but it can still make nice money for you.

mittens said...

before you even think about publishing get your friends to read it, revise the heck out of it, and make sure you have proofed spelling, grammar, and flow.
let someone else do it too.

look at the requirements of small publishing houses. Id say you have a better chance there at least at first.
I spent a year reading manuscripts for a friend who had a small publishing house, and learned a LOT about submitting.

Follow the guidelines scrupulously. If the place says, "sample chapter only, SASE" thats what they mean. If they say "synopsis, cover letter, SASE" thats what they mean. do NOT send an entire manuscript anywhere unless directly asked. look online for small publishers, rather than the big boys.

I wish you well with this, truly.

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