The month of April, in retrospect, has been filled with a couple of activities on repeat. Write, Revise, Critique Group, Repeat. My newest MS has been well received by two out of the three critique groups. This most recent MS has been a huge eye opener. I can see the leaps and bounds I’ve made in my writing, my understanding of storytelling, and my over all confidence in creating a great MS. The starting draft was less bumpy, we’ll see how the middle drafts go. :) I’ve been playing this video on repeat to keep me motivated.
I’m looking forward to my first Monday of the month critique group. The make-up of this group is two author/illustrators and “I can only draw a stick figure” me. The two talented author/illustrators in my group were able to shed light on my older MS in a way I hadn’t expected. It was refreshing. Plus we use Google+ Hangout, this way I can see their pretty faces. We use Google+ Hangout in my other critique group as well. I am thrilled technologies like this exist. Google+ Hangout makes it a little bit more possible for me to be a little less of an isolated writer. This has greatly benefited the development of my craft.
March and April also shuttled in the next stage of my new writing career. I began to more seriously prepare for submission to agents. Thanks to the supportive 12X12 community forum, I was able to have a query letter critiqued. I went through three major revisions of one letter with a significant amount of critiquing from the forum group. This was a fantastic way to get a handle on how exactly to compose a letter of this particular nature. I can safely say the letter began as an untamed monkey and I may have it trained enough to stop throwing banana peels at my head- not necessarily stopping it from throwing peels at me in general.
With my first polished MS in hand and a query letter crafted, I submitted to an agent who was taking submissions from the 12X12 group. I’ve spent a fair amount of time researching agents and was thrilled to see they were on the 12X12 list. Given it was a short window of two weeks, I opted to go ahead and submit. I’ve not heard back as of yet but I’ve already learned a ton by simply submitting.
I understand agents are overworked and have huge slush piles to get through, I made it a priority to ensure I was avoiding novice mistakes. That said, I’m a novice so I might not have even seen the mistake! But I’ve got to start somewhere, my apologies in advance if I stumble and my mistake finds its way in your slush pile. The ether of the publishing world is often hazy. I’ve been following The Query Shark for awhile now, can not stress enough how awesome this blog has been in helping navigate the ether.
Speaking of the 12X12 community, sometime in the middle of May I’ll be featured on the Tuesday’s Blog. I wrote a little blog post a month or so ago. I’ll post a link as soon as its up! Pretty excited. I also turn 30 in the middle of May, it all seems to be rounding out perfectly. Especially, given on April 30th we celebrated the Czech tradition of burning a fake witch over a HUGE bond fire to rid the air of winter. Spring is here and summer is near!