It’s been about a year since I picked up my first manuscript again, dusted it off, and revised it. It's been an interesting journey since then and can't believe how much I've learned and grown.
I started querying my vampire manuscript last September. As much as I want it to be picked up, I know vampires are a tough sell right now. I really love this story and believe in it, so I'm not giving up. However, I've learned so much that I see ways to improve the story that require another revision, or three, so I've stopped querying it for now.
What else have I accomplished in the past year?
I’ve written the sequel to my vampire novel. It’s still in rough draft but once I get the first manuscript fixed, then I can work on the sequel. There’s at least two more books planned for this series. No matter what the outcome is of the original manuscript, I will write them. If I don’t, the characters will hound me to finish their story.
When I finished my vampire sequel, I wrote a new urban fantasy novel. The idea came from the title of a non-fiction book. I read the title and thought, ‘That sounds like a good book,’ not knowing it was non-fiction until I looked at it. Well, since it wasn’t the book I envisioned, I went ahead and wrote what I thought the book would be about. At this time, I’m getting ready to do the final proofread and start querying it.
Querying my vampire manuscript was an amazing learning experience. Heading into querying my new novel, I'm better prepared. I know more about researching agents and writing a query letter (though it's still not easy).
I also bit the bullet and joined Twitter, which I blogged about (see the post here). I’ve made some new friends and found encouragement among other writers when I struggled. I also really enjoy the monthly #SFFlunch chats that World Weaver Press does. If you write fantasy or sci-fi, think about stopping by for one. I mainly joined to follow agents and participate in the pitch parties (#PitMad, #SFFPit, #adpit, etc) where you pitch your book and through the day, literary agents take a peek to see if there’s anything that interests them.
There has been a lot of learning this past year. I attended a workshop with Brian Henry of the Quick Brown Fox blog and have another one coming up. I’ve been reading and talking to writers and literary agents (mostly via Twitter), gathering tons of information I can use in my own work. My email is crammed with posts from blogs I subscribe to, everything from literary agents to writers dispensing useful advice.
I'm looking forward to see where the coming year takes me.