Query letters, final edits and finding an agent

Last month I finished the year-long third draft revision of the manuscript, Fatizen 24602. It was a substantial revision that required daily reworking on many levels. The result is a much more finished work product. The edits I worked on were from a very skilled and talented writer friend of mine who graduated with me at Antioch. Her comments were insightful and astute. I’d like to say that the manuscript is completed but there are further areas I know I need to work on.

I feel like I’m not building enough of a firm platform and spending too much time just working on the writing but that is what it’s all about, right? The day job takes a lot of energy and time but a boys gotta eat.

I’m currently working on grammar and punctuation edits provided from a former teacher from high school. These are further tightening the story but I still see areas that can benefit from more revision such as making the voices of the characters more unique and tightening the dialogue, making it less stilted. So, the fourth round of edits has begun.

While I am working on these edits, I’ve begun to shop for an agent. I figure that it will take some time to find one. Having sent one query letter out, exclusively, I only have 99 more to go, according to what I’ve read about the process. And that agent has four more weeks to respond based on the submission guidelines and how long they have to respond to a potential author. This whole process can be a full-time job in itself. My friend Richard just shared with me that he sent out 102 query letter packages at once and received two positive replies, one of which published his novel. And that is the standard.

Mason’s work on the graphic novel moves ahead daily. It would be great to find an agent that will represent us both. Each panel is stronger and the characters are developing their own unique visual personalities. His work is incredible. Just take a look at the book’s blog, http://www.delilahsdiaries.com.

I’m not disheartened at all. This is a fascinating process. A lot of work but worth it. Seeing my fellow classmates get their books published is a wonderfully motivating factor. I just want the best book possible.

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