The first stage in getting a novel published

This post is about my journey to get a fiction novel published. I wrote a 110,150 word crime fiction novel called Witness Tampering that I am actively querying literary agents for representation.  

My post title says “the first stage in getting a book published,” but I guess I really have gone through many stages over the last year and a half.

The story actually begins before that, but for now I am excited that a literary agent in Connecticut liked not only my query letter, but also the 1st 10 pages that I had emailed to them.  They actually said that they were interested and wanted a synopsis and the 1st 50 pages. Yeah!  I mean, this is a huge deal…ok well in my mind it is anyway.

To me, it means that somebody in the business likes my overall genre/idea and feels that, well for at least the 1st 10 pages, that my writing doesn’t totally suck!

The journey began several years ago when I decided to write a fiction history book. It involved the interaction between two friends – a teacher and a cop.  The teacher ends up sharing the history of the world from 10,000 BC until the present while they drink beer and eat pizza. They do this because the teacher is a psychology teacher in high school and has been preparing to teach his first history class. The cop, whose family was away for the weekend, had nothing better to do other than to listen and give the teacher crap as he, himself, slowly  finds history interesting as the weekend progresses.

Sounds cool, eh?  Well apparently readers felt that the story between the friends kept getting interrupted by the history, or there was not enough detail in the history because it moved too fast. I had the 90,000 word manuscript test read and they all said the same thing. So for now, that book has been tabled as non-fuctioning.

That brings me to my fiction book, Witness Tampering.

This book is over 110,000 words and I started it in the fall of 2009 while my history book was being test read. After tons…I mean TONS…of drafts, I am finally ready to seek agent representation. That process is interesting in and of itself and maybe I’ll post more on that later. 

But for now, I am just glad to pass step #1.  I call it “the I don’t completely suck at writing and have wasted my time” step. :) 

I would be curious to hear from others who are going through this process. Just leave a comment on this post.

Either way, it is awesome to be able to tap into your childhood creativity again, whether it is with painting, writing, singing, or whatever.

3 responses to “The first stage in getting a novel published

  1. Congratulations on that good news! Here’s hoping there will be more to come. Writing is a grueling process, but stories like yours are an inspiration that show it’s not all for nothing. In a competitive business like the publishing industry, it’s always a relief to see announcements like this – novels making it past the first round of criticism.
    Currently, I’m still in the process of writing my novel. With a bit of luck and well-spent time, I’ll have it finished by the end of 2011. That’s my goal, at least.
    Before you know it, they’ll be wanting the entire novel!

  2. Well if an untrained yahoo like me can pass the first stage, anybody can :) Hopefully your novel turns out for you.

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