Can’t believe the whole A-Z challenge thing is over. I’ll be reflecting on that next week. But for now I’m here to talk about my insecurities. I think every post I do is about my insecurities, but I suppose this in the one-time per month I have a permission from a support group to post about it.
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For me, possibly my biggest insecurity, or at least the one I try my best to actively avoid, is rejection. During the heat of the A-Z challenge I got dinged with a couple of rejections from stories I’d submitted. One was my sci fi novel that I’ve been shopping around so long that I’m afraid it’s no longer relevant. Well, relevant might not be the right word, but already rendered all but impossible as a contemporary tale. I did go through the thing last year and give everyone iPhones to make it feel more modern. But that sort of thing is a Band-Aid, not a fix. So after another year or so I’ll either have to really rewrite it – which I might have to do anyway – or give it a firm date and call it a historical science fiction piece.
I’m going to give it one more go with the traditional track before I give up and throw the thing up as a self-published work and move on. Regardless, I think I’ll need a new query letter. My previous ones were targeting editors, and my new ones will be targeted at (sigh) super agents.
So, I can say goodbye to this gem:
My novel, The Blutonian Death Egg, has been compared to such made up works as, The Man Who Forgot That He Couldn’t Remember, and the classic, White Elephants and Pink Whales: One Man’s Descent into Nicorette Addiction.
James Coastsman is a know-nothing, lazy, unmotivated, borderline sociopathic loner that gets forced into becoming an astronaut because he’s also me! And I’m awesome and should totally get to be an astronaut. So, while
I’m he’s astronauting, he saves the world, kinda, gets the girl, and fights the establishment that is jealous of him.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to call this POS at least as good as some of the crappier SF being published currently, I mean, did you read <title redacted>? What a crapfest that was. So it isn’t like you’re throwing out winners right and left. I mean, c’mon.”
I know, who could reject that? My new query will probably be something along the lines of:
My previous attempts at submitting directly to publishing houses have met with some crushing rejections, despite a terrific query letter.
I’m coming to you because I’ve been led to believe that you can actually get me a book deal, please do so now. I’ll be honest with you, I read a book published at a major house by one of your clients and I found that book incredibly mediocre. He was a first time novelist, so I’m pretty sure that you can get some otherwise unremarkable stuff noticed. I can’t imagine how bad it was before it had several rounds of rewrites and professional editing. I may not be capable of producing award winning fiction, but I can at least whip up something as good as <name redacted> has.
My book? Well, my completed manuscript is something about a slacker that goes into space because I needed him to for the story. Think Dumb and Dumber meets Apollo 13… Also, there may be government conspiracies… I’m not sure because I’ve got so many plot holes that I can’t recall what is on purpose and what is the result of sloppy planning. I’m not big on plotting anyway. I doubt any readers will get past the first couple of chapters so I’ve not put a lot of effort into a satisfying ending. Just slap a good looking cover on it and we’re gold!
Wow. No matter how many times I read it I start to think I’ve got a sure fired best seller on my hands. Surely no one would reject that.