Two weeks ago, I talked about how I wanted to throw my manuscript in the trash, but my novel writing journey hasn’t been one big discouraging experience. I had a lot of moments where celebration bells went off in my head as I finished certain milestones:
- When I came up with a plot some unplotted chapters after pacing for an hour
- When I finished my first draft!
- When I finished reading through and marking up my first ever manuscript in paper
- When I wrote my first query letter
- When I queried the first agent
- When I got my first rejection letter (yes, I saw this as a badge christening me as “a real writer.”)
I’ve grown so much since that day I first decided to write a book, and each of these milestones gave me the motivation to keep going. But there’s one milestone that REALLY gave me a supercharged boost in motivation.
And now for the drum roll….
An agent from Writer’s House asked to look at my manuscript!
Yes, you read that right. It isn’t a typo or me being a writing and making up stories. 😛
She didn’t choose to represent it, but it was just about the best news I’ve received all year. It meant that at least something about this story was worth interest. It also meant that I must be writing my query letters right too. 😉
The agent said that The Hashna Stone was an “original concept” and that I’d “done a great job creating a novel with a strong voice and engaging characters.” She said that she didn’t connect strongly enough with the book to represent it though.
This agent’s interest gave me more than just a ray of hope that one day, someone would represent it. She gave me an opportunity to look at my work, yet again, and be a little more critical.
Her email left me thinking, “What made her say no?” It could truly be that she loved everything about the book, but its style wasn’t quite something she wanted to represent. But most likely, there was something flawed about the story.
It wasn’t the idea, the overall story concept itself. She said it was an original concept.
It wasn’t that a lack of voice or that I had flat characters. So what was it that turned this agent away?
As I started thinking about how the story unfolds, I realized that I wasn’t entirely happy with the ending, and chances are, if I’m not happy with it an agent wouldn’t be either.
It needed to be bigger, there needed to be a few more scenes, the other viewpoint character has a last scene that just doesn’t seem to wrap everything up as nicely as Dalan’s.
There was a LOT of work that needed to be done. And here I was thinking it was finished. *sigh*
So, that is what I’m working on now, dear Epic Dreamers. Sending to agents has been put on pause so I can rewrite about ten of the last chapters (which also means rewriting quite a bit in the first and middle, because it has to reflect and foreshadow what happens in the end). I’m excited about these changes because it’s making The Hashna Stone a better story, and hopefully the next time an agent asks to read my manuscript, she’ll say yes.