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08 July 2009

Finished Writing, Now the Work Begins

It's official; I finished my trilogy. Three whole manuscripts now sit upon my table, fat, happy, edited and ready to be sent out in the great wide world. Oh what a day when I put my pen down (finally) and declared, "It is finished!" with dramatic aplomb. Of course, you know as well as I do, that was not the end. Oh, no, dear reader, that was not the end.

To finish writing a novel, composing words from thought to flesh, is a taxing process. Many hours of sleep were lost, relationships deprived, my lungs went without fresh oxygen for countless afternoons on end. the first book alone is over 500 pages long. (Yes I have been told I'm long winded and yes, I'm OK with that.)

The next step is to put all those edits into the manuscript via computer and reprint them. All three of them. How many reams of paper this will require, I shall not state, for fear an army of Ents may calculate how many trees sacrificed their precious lives for my humble tale. Just know it will be a lot. Staples loves me.

While inputting these edits, market research will also be done. Not my favorite part. Why? It must be done. I must search for agents and publishers who are willing to take a chance on a yet-to-be-known author and her Ent-angering stack of paper/manuscript. And this I am happy to do. It's the next step I fear the most: the composition of the query.

the bane of every writer's existence. The query is a mysterious, frightening, yet absolutely necessary document that must accompany every manuscript which is given wings. They hold the fate of dreams in the palm of their one-page-only hands. I've read examples of great queries, terrible queries, and I've even composed a couple myself. But I'm still at a loss as how to begin.

And so, dear reader, I leave you for another week in order to immerse myself in the strange world of submissions. I will be doing a lot of research; I will be doing a lot of transferring of edits from printed manuscript to computer file. And I will be learning (again) how to compose a query so fascinating, so intriguing, that at least one agent, at least one publisher, will read all the way to the last sentence and take that chance.

"Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you soon."

~Jennifer

12 comments:

Jody Hedlund said...

Wow! Congrats on getting so close to taking that next step: querying! Keep us posted on how the query writing goes! It's so challenging to get the perfect one for your stories, but it IS possible! You can do it!

deb said...

best of luck with this process
I am awed that you accomplished such a task , and hope that you keep us posted on the progress and the publication.
and you are launching a business as well?!
so inspiring

JStantonChandler said...

Jody: Thank you so much for the encouragement! This stage is always the hardest for me. Part of me is a little scared to actually let my characters out into the world; the other part is just scared speechless of the monster query!

Deb: Thank you for your encouragement and kind words. Some days I think I must be crazy to start a writing career AND a small business at the same time. But it's all I've ever wanted to do, so I might as well do them both at once!

I will definitely keep you guys posted on how the process goes and hopefully we'll have some celebrating to do :)

Happy day!
~Jennifer

alexisgrant said...

First, you deserve a Congratulations! (I'm jealous.)

I hope you continue to blog about the submissions process, keeping us posted. Best of luck!

JStantonChandler said...

Thanks, Alexis!

I really appreciate the congrats.

And don't be jealous! All it took was 7 years of hard work :) I will definitely be posting updates about the process! Thanks for the interest. Stay tuned!

~Jennifer

Glynis said...

Oh Jennifer well done! Good luck with the remainder of the journey you have before you. I put a link to an agent directory on my author blog today, if that helps cut down search time for you.
Oh I can't wait until I can say that word 'finished'. :) Oh and get that horrible query out of the way!!

JStantonChandler said...

Thanks so much, Glynis! It's a relief to say "finished", but I know I'll never be finished with writing :) I have too many ideas floating around in this head of mine. I'll definitely check out the agent list you posted. Thanks a bundle! Any help I can get, I will take. I must overcome my query-phobia! I need to do just that: get it out of the way and move forward. I appreciate the encouragement. Happy writing!

Ratty said...

I admire you very much for being able to write a manuscript. I began writing a blog so I could get used to writing instead of just thinking certain things. I would love to have that feeling of accomplishment that you must have when you finish one.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

WOOHOOO, Friend! Congratulations! I'm so happy for you!!!

Btw, I ate dragon fruit the other day and thought of you. It was a magnificent shade of purple... like a purple-pink and was very tasty. Had a lot of seeds like a kiwi.... muy rico!!!!

Love you!

JStantonChandler said...

Ratty: Thanks for the kind words. It's a huge feeling of accomplishment, especially after seven years of working on these books! You should be proud as well; maintaining a blog that is always interesting to your readers is quite an accomplishment indeed!

Kristen: Thank you!! I am so relieved to have it finally completed. Of course now, I've got even more work ahead of me. Querys....*shudder*...

Lin said...

I think query writing is probably harder than the whole manuscript, isn't it?? Good luck, pally!

JStantonChandler said...

Hi Lin!
Yes, query writing is so much harder than the actual manuscript. You've got to "sell" your book in a page or less!
Thanks for the good wishes and thanks for following :)