Over the summer of 2017, I leveled up. I completed and heavily revised my second book, which was an adult science fiction novel, and sent it out to agents. Here are my stats for my first and second books as of now:
Queries – 18
Partial requests – 2
Full requests – 1
(Plus 1 full and 1 partial during pitchwars)
Adult Science Fiction
Queries – 58
Partial requests – 9
Full requests – 8
(plus 1 partial during pitchwars)
Yes, I queried more with my second book but I saw a big difference in how it was received compared to my first, and that was encouraging. My first book had some charming characters and funny dialogue, but the plot was all over the place and my characters’ goals were weak and sludgy. Also it was multi pov which is usually a no in middle grade. My second book had an interesting premise, a clear plot, and the focus of a single first person pov.
While revising my second novel, my understanding of structure, character arcs, goals, weakness, need, etc, grew by leaps and bounds. I could feel myself leveling up. I’m not sure what will happen with this second book. It has some life yet, but mentally I’ve locked it away in a drawer and stopped checking my email for news.
In the meantime, I started a new project. It feels amazing to begin on such a strong foundation, with all my hard-won writing upgrades, confidence and deeper knowledge. So here’s the thing. If I hadn’t written those first two books, I would not be the writer I am now. Sure it was hard to let those early books go (at least for now), and the devil on my shoulder sometimes whispers believable little lies, such as: “three years of work, and you’ve got nothing to show for it.”
It sounds like a platitude, but I wouldn’t trade that growth for anything. My current WIP is energizing. I hope you too, get inspiration and energy seeing your development as a writer, even if success remains elusive as the Grail–for the time being 😉