It is beyond time for another State of the Novel address, because some interesting things have been happening as of late.
Unfortunately, the SUPER interesting thing (getting published) has not happened yet, but I have been continuing to send out queries and search for agents and publishers and send out more queries. It is a rather exhausting process. Imagine applying to colleges, but instead of applying to the college you can only apply to someone who will help you apply to the college, and 75% of the time you won't hear back from them. That is what it is like to query.
(And that remaining 25%, thus far, have been nos.)
With that, it can be difficult to remain optimistic, but every now and then I return to the novel itself (still titled The Demon Hunter's Inheritance), and I'm always struck by the fact that it isn't bad. It's actually okay. Sometimes I might even think it's good. And since I'm my own worst critic, I know it's a little bit better than that, too. So I continue to query, and query, and query.
But there have been other developments as well. Right now, as you are probably aware, I have been on a contest over at the amazing Adventures in YA Publishing blog, and I'm happy to announce that I am a finalist! That saga has been pretty interesting as well. This isn't my first contest with this book--it's my fourth, IIRC--but so far, what's happened:
1. First contest is being run by some erotica writers. I don't advance. Perhaps because I don't write erotica.
2. Second contest (which was also run by Adventures in YA Publishing--it was Pitch Plus Five) was about a year ago, and in order to compete you had to be one of the first 50 people to send in your pitch and first five pages by 9:00. The first 9:00, I had everything as an attachment, which I found out disqualified me. The second 9:00, I wasn't one of the top fifty. So that never happened.
3. Finally, I going into an Adventures in YA Publishing contest--all about pitches! The first round was solely done by blogger judges on your mini-pitch. I didn't advance.
4. The Red Light, Green Light contest that I'm currently in. Once again, I have to be the first fifty to send in my sentence by 9:00. I get everything set up, but I'm nervous about the sending, since I'll actually be on a plane (not taken off, but on a plane) when 9:00 hits, and planes typically have poor 4G. But it somehow goes through, and I'm in the contest!
After that, it was three rounds of voting, with some of the vote being popular vote and some of the vote being expert judges. And I'm still around! I think this proves that I am an okay novel-writing writer, but a poor pitch-writing writer. I'm just not good at condensing my novel into a short piece to wow someone, because it sounds like boasting and there are all these wonderful parts of my novel (Character development! Mystery! Romantic tension!) that I have worked really hard on, and can't properly show. It's difficult to let those things go in a pitch.
But this is being judged by the work itself, and so far, so good. Yay!
Next week, our 30-word pitch (ugh....I hope I did okay) and first 100 words (I like my first 100 words) will be revealed, and a week after that we'll find out the winners. Here's to hoping my first 100 words are sort of dazzle-y!