Oh, the joyous world of literary rejection... I suppose I can mark 'never been rejected by an agent' off my list. That's right folks, I have received my first official, yet unofficial, agent rejection. It actually didn't sting as much as I thought it might. Perhaps because I'd prepared for it. Not in the negative thinking sort of way, but in the 'in the real world' thinking sort of way.
How many of you lovelies are familiar with Miss Snark's First Victim blog run by the Authoress? Hmmm. Not many. Well, allow me to introduce you! The Authoress has a fantastic blog and every month she holds a Secret Agent contest (among other fantabulous postings). Peeps are able to submit their first 250 words of a COMPLETE manuscript and the Authoress' Auto Bot (not a Transformers reference, seriously) dooflotchy selects 50 random lucky writers. Once posted on the blog (all anonymous for the author *grin*) followers are encouraged to crit the blurb. During this time a 'Secret Agent' will also give their two cents. If the mysterious agent likes what they see, they may request partials of any of the blurbs posted. It truly is some exciting stuff!
Yours truly was selected for March and I about peed myself when I got the email. I was excited, but terrified. My complete MS has been going under the knife for quite some time, but I was still not sure if the beginning 'worked.' After receiving crits on different platforms, it was clear that no body could tell me how to start it where it would grab. What was the problem, you ask? Well, see, it's because it involves a dream. [Insert cliche groan and eye-roll here] I know... I have heard it a thousand times over and then some. "Never start a book with a dream."
Without getting into too much detail about the whole story, let's just say 'the dream' is pretty much a central conflict to the story line. That's how it originally came to me and I know I can make it work. I just need to find the right angle. That is why I entered the Secret Agent. I had received feedback on both sides of the coin and I was no closer to finding the right answer. I needed to hear from the pros, aka Secret Agent. And I did. "Form rejection." What I have isn't working.
Now I have my answer. Am I giving up on the dream idea? Nope. It is cliched, yes. It has been overdone, yes. BUT!!! It still shows up in books so it still, at least when done right, works for agents and publishers. I just need to find the right way to present it. There is something there in my story, or I would not have so many people tell me they like it and want more, but I am still learning this writing thing. I just need to find the right way to present the dream aspect so that it's new and exciting. A tough feat? Yes. Am I willing to keep trying until I get it right? Abso-freakin-lutely! I love this story and I love the characters. And I am pretty darned sure all of you would like it too! That is when I finally get it...right.
So I am off to the good ole drawing board to once again rewrite the all important Chapter 1. I'm not sure how many times I have redone the first few pages, but that is all part of this wonderful writing game. Sure, it's a pain in the ass, but with every rewrite, rehash, delete, cut, paste, head-bang, hair-pull, and explosive expletive I learn and improve. And THAT my friends is the best part about writing. The journey is ever changing, ever improving, and ever inspiring. Game on!