Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sometimes things need to sit in the dark

The reason 99% of all stories written are not bought by editors is very simple. Editors never buy manuscripts that are left on the closet shelf at home.
- John Campbell

I do like that quote. It reminds me that as someone who is aiming for a life in the world of book publishing-on the author end mind you- I need to be submitting.

I don't have a problem with submitting, I've got a stack of rejections from my first completed novel that I could share. That novel is currently sitting in a corner, or as I like to call it "dry dock" waiting until next year when it gets to go on a diet and hard core edit. It (technically two completed books) is the first in a fantasy trilogy. Now unlike some authors, I don't think it's awful. But it does need work and it needs to lose some pages. It sort of resembles a brick. Maybe it's my six million dollar man book- we can rebuild it- later.

This year I'm not submitting anything and it's been hard.

Along with the dry-docked Essence of Chaos, I also have a completed SF, Warrior Wench (in edits), a nearly finished humorous fantasy-mystery (and being tracked here) : The Glass Gargoyle of the Last Elven King, and a fledgling Victorian-steampunkish-SF adventure, (also tracked here) A Curious Invasion.

All those books in the works, it does seem as if I may have avoidance or commitment issues. But there is a method to my madness. Last year I began to realize that even when one thinks ones work is ready to go out- it most likely isn't. I actually made that realization with other folks writing first. I'd see things go out that maybe weren't quite ready. Then I took a long hard look at my own work and pulled things back a notch. A BIG notch. I need to build my writing legs, get the skills under me that will allow me to write the books that are in my head, but in such a way that others will want them in their heads too.

My long rambling point of today's blog is that sometimes it's best to take a step or two or five backwards. Build up your legs so that you can really make a good jump of it when you charge back into the fray. My goal is to have all of the books (except EoC) ready for submission by Jan 2011. Then I'll use the skills from them and this year to edit Essence of Chaos into a serious contender as well.

It's hard to see friends charging forth, putting their books out there, and in many cases succeeding beautifully. But for me 2010 needs to be a time of growth for my writing.

Just wait until 2011 though ;).

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