Going for it Again

Comments: 4

Yes, folks (all 1 or 2 of you), I'm going to start querying again. I figured out, after a lot of rejections from agents, that my #1 WIP is going nowhere. I think my critique group was being nice to me to tell me they all liked it.

After getting nowhere, I decided to let them take a second and even more critical look at it. Based on their comments I cut out the first 4 chapters. Now looking back, I don't think that hurt my novel at all, and may even helped. I was concerned, however, that a lot of the tragic events I had portrayed in Chapter 1 would be lost, as the book is based on those events. But I found a way to insert bits and pieces of that chapter in the form of flashbacks as the main character (Mark) remembers his family's tragedy.

So now, I've totally revised my #1 WIP and even gave it a new catchy title -- An Urge to Kill. Does that grab at you? I hope it grabs an agent and publisher.

I also have a better looking query letter that did garner a few positive responses before I gave up the hunt. Oh, and those positive responses all died an ugly death and were given a proper burial.

Well, here's to wishing and hoping and even praying that this next go-round works better. Not holding my breath though, but my fingers and toes are all crossed.

About Paul West

Paul West is a freelance writer and novelist. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Paul claims to be a "Prune Picker," though he now makes his home in Taylorsville, Utah.

You can follower him on Twitter: @PaulWWest

Published: Tuesday, June 07, 2011

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  1. Good luck on this next trip on the merry go round. I'm dreading having to query agents again, but by summer's end, I hope to be anyway.

    I know how hard you've worked on this novel, but once you have a good many queries out there, it may serve you to temporarily forget about it and start a new one.

    The fresh writing will keep you from going mad! :-)

    But be sure to keep queries in the world why you write your next. They'll keep working for you.

    Good luck, Paul! And for the record, if I didn't like the novel, I would have said so. ;-)

  2. Thanks Tony. Frankly, I liked your novel too.

    Right now, I intend to keep the chapters coming at the PEN, but if an agent wants to see it, I'll send it in whatever condition it happens to be in at the time.

    After this goes through this last round of critiques, I'll resume reworking GERTA!

  3. Thanks. :-)

    Have you written any short stories lately? That might be another good way to sort of take a short break and get some new stuff flowing.

  4. Short stories are too hard to write. They take a lot more concentration than novel writing and I simply don't have the time to concentrate that hard.

    I envy people like you who can do that.