Whenever I think about the writing process and all the drafting, and the querying, and the fact that only one agent in five will maybe take on two new writers a year, I get a little disappointed. Because I’m a writer, I don’t have a very good grasp on the quality of my work. I think it’s swell, but that’s because I’m writing about what I like. My plot in Fate? Crazy black holes everywhere. The characters in Strange? Pretty flat. Realism in Element? Well, lets just say the pregnancies were a little quick. So I do realise I am not a great writer, and while I do work on my craft (every. single. day.) I also realise that even if I can work myself into being a fabulous writer, I have ultimately a 99.7% chance of never being read. Even in this world of Kindles and other e-readers, when you writer YA Fantasy, you’re in the lowest of the low. Well, maybe not lowest of the low, but definitely in the bracket which implies low success rate. Yeowch.
That said, I also like to think that someday masses of crazed fans who back-read blogs will be reading this and commenting things like “you were sure wrong!” or “writing is a really difficult process, but I’m glad you made it” or “you’re so whiny” or “how do you feel about strawberries?”
My writing process plan is as follows:
1.) Write initial draft.
2.) Put aside for at least a month.
3.) Edit initial draft to pieces.
5.) Resist editing again and print out three copies of the manuscript to give to volunteers to edit.
7.) Put aside for at least a month.
8.) Edit personally
10.) Resist editing again and print out three copies of the manuscript to give to three different volunteers to edit.
12.) Put aside for at least a month.
13.) Make any small, remaining changes.
14.) Research agents and discover at least 25 who will currently accept YA Fantasy (if there’s that many even out there anymore).
15.) Query agents 5 at a time, waiting about two months inbetween query letter sets.
16.) If all are rejected – and they will likely be – put the manuscript aside. Maybe pick up in a couple years, re-edit, and post as an e-book. And print one copy for me.
Yeah, hopelessly optimistic plan, right? But, fact of the matter is, there’s a lot more to writing a book than writing a story. I feel like I have to be pessimistic, because otherwise, rejection will be terrible. All a writer really needs is one person to read their book… and as long as there’s one person out there somewhere who wants to read my stories, then I’m happy.
However, I’m still going to go through my game plan.