Today while (stalking) researching agents for queries, I read that a certain agency I was (stalking) researching only requests fulls on 1% of their submissions received.

One percent.

That’s some daunting odds. It didn’t stop me from querying them, and that’s why I keep writing here and on Patreon. The number one piece of advice I hear from traditionally published authors is Don’t Give Up.

Earlier this week, I got the ninth rejection on the story that won the Silver Honorable Mention in Writers of the Future. I sighed and picked at it again. This time, I saw a flaw. I’d learned only recently from another story I wrote that I like to head-hop at the end when I feel uncertain.

Readers don’t like that.

They get invested in the original character, and when I switch, it’s off-putting. It forces them to grind empathy gears, and not in a good way. I do it because endings are hard sometimes, and I am a character writer. I like to see inside peoples’ heads and root around and play with what makes them tick.

I learned this weakness in my work because I kept writing and asking for feedback. The last time I did this, my beta-readers called me on it. My story improved when I fixed it.

I kept trying.

So, for those eyeing their half-finished work, keep going. If you’re querying, keep at it.

I’m trying to internalize the message that this first book of mine might not get me an agent. It’s a bitter pill, I’ll be honest. But, like any good medicine, probably necessary.

That’s why I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year. I want to get a first draft banged out, guts and marrow, and have another manuscript ready to query by next spring. If you’re doing it too, we can be buddies.

Remember in Return of the Jedi when they fly the Millennium Falcon through the fingertip-width passage in the Death Star? That was like the best part, right? You leaned in your seat and your hands were all sweaty. That’s why I love writing and submitting and trying again and again. That 1% narrow passage will feel so sweet when I zip out the other end and into the stars.

11 thoughts on “1%

  1. Hello πŸ™‚
    Yes I know what you mean. I haven’t started querying yet but I get discouraged whenever I look into querying, publication, etc. However I agree with you in that it is good to have a positive attitude, and that the only certain way to fail is to not try. Best wishes for nanowrimo this year- sounds like it is a great opportunity to start on a new story. I won’t be doing nanowrimo this year but I am hoping to start on a new novel shortly πŸ™‚

    1. Hello! Oh, I’m excited for you approaching that phase. It’s so wonderful when you have a manuscript in your hands that you love and are ready to share. What’s your book about?
      Thanks for the NaNo wishes. The challenge is definitely a way to get my gears engaged on a new project!

      1. Yes it is exciting to have a manuscript done πŸ™‚ the novel that I just finished is a love story about a scientist who likes painting and a man who works as a tour guide in the museum. What will you be working on for nano?

        1. Oh, love story! <3 Nice. Is it a romantic drama?

          Mine is a story about a person bound by a magical oath who must save a kingdom, even if it breaks her heart.

          1. Haha yes! I suppose you can call it a romantic drama πŸ™‚
            Your story sounds so epic! πŸ™‚ looking forward to hearing more about it, if you will be sharing πŸ™‚

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