You remember in those old Bugs Bunny cartoons where the Road Runner always managed to lure Wile E. Coyote off of a cliff where he would fall 20 stories only to survive (despite being a temporarily mangled pancake) and have a giant boulder fall on him, which he would successfully roll off of his only-slightly concussed head (how did we find this funny?) to get hit by some sort of dynamite that he had previously rigged up to disable his nemesis, the Road Runner?
Ok, I have a point, I promise. The repetitive destruction of poor ol’ Wile E. Coyote brings my latest project to mind. I sometimes feel that my novel has taken so much abuse since its first completion that it has no chance of survival. It has plunged off a cliff (the first pile of rejections), only to be hit by a boulder (the 100th revision and second set of rejections), and then the dynamite (poor Novel, you just aren’t good enough yet, one more round of revisions).
My story is like the coyote, though. It hasn’t given up yet (but maybe it should). As long as I believe in my story I’ll keep revising and polishing…and working on my next story (after all, the coyote seems kind of naive after a while).
Keep on writing!
Do you ever wonder if sending in your crown jewel during the ‘call for submissions’ period at an agency could be the wrong move? There are 2 ways to look at it.
- The odds of my story getting lost to the ‘slush pile’ just shot through the roof. The chances that the agent reading my query has spent an entire day reading through query after query is increased significantly during this time period. Certainly the psychologically exhausted and physically weary agent reading my query at this time is more likely to overlook MY story/query while in a ‘query trance’…OR
- My opportunity to stand out amongst the throngs of poor queries is actually improved exponentially at this time. Afterall, the ‘query trance’ must allow the agent sifting through the queries to gain invaluable perspective (or merely re-visit the perspective that they know so well) on a good query vs. a poor one. Alas, a story that holds potential for their agency or not.
Being the cynical writer I often assume that my lonely query is somehow never read at all but lost in cyberspace along with my dreams of writing full-time….poor me. The rejections (and occasional requests for my entire novel) let me know that cyberspace has not consumed my attempts but continues to work as it should (most of the time).
How do you time your submissions? Are you careful to submit during the valuable ‘call for submissions’ period or do you bide your time and submit when things are less chaotic for an agency?
Keep on writing!
If you haven’t already discovered The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel, then add it to your stack of books to read. It’s the first in a series of books that was first released 30 years ago. Amazon’s summary of the book sets the tale:
When her parents are killed by an earthquake, 5-year-old Ayla wanders through the forest completely alone. Cold, hungry, and badly injured by a cave lion, the little girl is as good as gone until she is discovered by a group who call themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear. This clan, left homeless by the same disaster, have little interest in the helpless girl who comes from the tribe they refer to as the “Others.” Only their medicine woman sees in Ayla a fellow human, worthy of care. She painstakingly nurses her back to health–a decision that will forever alter the physical and emotional structure of the clan. Although this story takes place roughly 35,000 years ago, its cast of characters could easily slide into any modern tale. The members of the Neanderthal clan, ruled by traditions and taboos, find themselves challenged by this outsider, who represents the physically modern Cro-Magnons. And as Ayla begins to grow and mature, her natural tendencies emerge, putting her in the middle of a brutal and dangerous power struggle.
Jean Auel is profoundly talented in her ability to draw the reader into her settings. She depicts the surroundings of her characters beautifully. You can’t help but feel that you’re there with the clan when you read the story.
Pick it up today and be inspired!