It’s been three weeks since I sent out my first five agent queries for Oldsters. After hitting send on those emails, I’ve put that process out of my mind for now. I left Eddie and his friends at the end of the story and hope that my first attempt at a query letter will garnish some kind of response. After two days, my brother texted me, “Have you heard anything on your book?”
After my laughter stopped, I felt peaceful. After all, completing the novel was my goal. I think it’s a great story – a fresh take on the inescapable task of aging. I’m confident that I wrote, re-wrote, edited and edited again to make it the best I could. The characters breathe their stories onto the pages, and that’s what I worked three years to make happen.
Yes, finishing the book is the accomplishment. Of course I’d love to find an agent who wants to represent my writing, and I’m willing to do the hard work that’s still ahead to make that happen. But I’m not going to let the waiting game get to me. I’m reading daily and outlining what may become my next novel. As soon as I finished Oldsters, I went through all the stories I’d started prior. There were characters left mid-speech; at 6,000 words, 13,000 words – my longest had already hit 30,000+ words when I put it down. I read each page of these stories, hoping that one would tug at me to get back to it. None of them did.
At first glance, my new idea has legs – but for another story to follow Oldsters, it will have to impress me to new heights. I love that I’m already poking holes in characters and story at this very early stage. My expectations are high, but there’s a good chance that 72 (tentative title) may bulldoze its way into my heart and soul the same way Oldsters did.
I’ll move faster this time, because I understand how the first draft works. Plotting and outlining are second nature. Sharpening the knife and killing my darlings is a favorite pastime. Watch who wins the waiting game.