Last week, while feeling the pain of a rebuilt knee jousting with the better pain medicines, I had a call from a friend of a friend – a writer – who, after some brief forays into seeking publication for her work, was feeling down and unloved. In the writerly reward sense. As it turned out, pain and its palliatives loosened my mind and tongue for an almost hour-long chat. Strange to feel the elder statesman mantle about my shoulders, but I suppose I have been around the block a few times. And so what jumps up from the conversation after a week? Two things:
> “If you’ve written your books with prologues,” I advised, “Flush ’em.” “No,” she whined, “I love my prologues.” As it turns out, so do I. But the savvy talents in the biz keep telling me to dump the reader right into the action. Give ’em medias res. The saving grace here? You can always work whatever you have in your prologue into the text as quickie looks back. Or whatever. All this to say, it needn’t be a total wipeout.
> The ever faithful saw: “Hang in there.” She’d “only” had two requests for manuscripts from two agents after less than a hundred queries. Both were turn-downs in the end, but two in a hundred? That’s huge. All this to say that finding the perfect match – an agent who really gets what you’re doing and has a market at his/her fingertips – is more huge than huge. It is, in fact, kismet.
And I think I learned more from this chat than she did. Soldier on, folks.
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