I have discovered through my contact with other authors, most feel finding a publisher or agent is the most trying part of being an author. You have this manuscript you’ve spent blood, sweat, and tears on for at least a year writing, polishing up, and editing, only to send sometimes hundreds of query letters out to multiple publishers and agents, hoping someone will respond.
The time spent on sending query letters out can be many hours, every day, for sometimes months. After the very first query, the wait begins. Acceptance or even rejection would be a step in the right direction. It is difficult to know exactly what each would want to see in the letter, the synopsis of your book can be a difficult one to determine. Some in the publishing world require a synopsis and a small chunk of your work. This is also time consuming. Most times, they require different length samples. No building a file with the sample and attaching it to the letter to send out.
I know this can be stressful. I completely understand and to some degree agree with this in being nerve racking for the author. I find that once I send out the letters I basically forget about it and begin working on my next piece. Occasionally I will get a bug up my butt and continuously search my emails for a glimmer of hope that someone wants to pick up my story. For the most part I just send it and forget it.
The most difficult part of writing for me is trying to determine what the reader wants and needs to keep reading on. Currently I’m writing a chapter, and the material needs to be in the book somewhere. I’m not sure if it requires an entire chapter and most of the time feels like I’m spending too much time going into detail. Some of it may be relevant while some may not. Not only do I have to see how the story progresses to understand what is relevant, I must determine two things. Does the reader want to read this in detail and when should I add it if I decide the reader needs it to understand the story?
This is my trouble now. I’m working through the chapter slowly and carefully. Not sure what to add. I’ve decided adding as much as possible is the best way to approach this for now and determine after I’m done with the piece if it should be explained throughout the story instead. It’s easy to lose a reader if you go on and on about anything. The characters, what’s going on, the small details in the background is all difficult for me. I know what I want the story to say and do, but not sure how much material I need to devote to this to make that happen.
Mainly my issue now is character development and how much detail that requires because I’m not sure how important the character will be in the remainder of the story. This is the first time I’ve written up an outline before beginning a story and this has been helpful in things like my current issue. My first outline I had 16 chapters written out with an idea for each. Currently I’ve gotten the outline down to 11 chapters. As I look at it between each chapter, I have deleted and added to it constantly. Some of the reasons are I’ve covered the subject in previous chapters and I can add it to other chapters to make them flow.
I will continue to move slowly through this chapter to make it as detailed as possible but I will most definitely be rearranging and editing the chapter, if not deleting most of it in the end. Yes that seems to be a waste of time but in order to determine what is relevant and how the story ends up going, I need to do this for me. For me this is the nerve racking part of writing. The other stuff I can brush off and move on to my next project.