It Has Begun.
1. I’m writing a novel.
2. I’m querying a novel.
3. I’m promoting two novels.
Three stages of a novel’s lifecycle. And, these three stages force a different interpretation and relationship with the story and how it’s built, simultaneously.
Those three stages have to convince three different types of customers to become interested in each story.
Let’s start with the last in the list but the first to have been imagined. The promotion of a story. A practice in patience and persistance. Yes, writing a long project is already a test of one’s ability to push through disinterest and frustration. Well, wait until you ask the public, all 300 million of them, to care about your measely little story. Disinterest and frustration abound. How many sales? Reads and likes? Are they following? The excitement of positive reviews is tempered like your flaming sword dipped in the water of cold hard fact. The fact that you’ll have to continue to chase readers.
Don’t worry this will hold true for your entire career.
This is dating.
But will the story work and pull the reader in where they can begin the journey in the first place? Let’s hope.
Promoting the story, finding all the different ways to excite interest and test the quickest of log lines. The most enticing juicy morsels. Details readers will love. Are those the gooey bits that will set the spell and encourage the reader to read? maybe.
Querying. Oh, boy. The saviest, most ruthless audience you will ever approach. The only reader besides yourself that will assess your book on whether it can save their life.
I mean it.
Your book will save their life. And your own. Working for a living means the chances taken, the risks, are real. The next time you complain about whether you get a rejection or not, ask yourself if you wrote something that another person will stake their livelihood on. It’s what you’re asking of an agent. That will follow onto the publisher.
Don’t get too high on yourself, you’re not the only one they are selling but each drop fills the bucket…
So, come to the realization: you’ve worked and worked to write something that might convince a savvy mercenary that you and your silly idea are worth throwing in with your lot. That, my friends, is the job.
Lastly, writing the novel. This journey involves convincing yourself that it is worth the effort and frustration to attack a silly story about things that don’t exist to forge beauty and truth. Or is it that truth is beauty, beauty: truth. Continue cutting, shaping and shining this jewel until someone can’t look away if they lay their eyes on it. Make the story sing the spell and you’ll have convinced yourself to finish it.
Then, you’ll do that to the story many more times. That tale will reflect not your fair visage but the grand world in your audience’s eyes through your filter.
After simply achieving the spun gold produced by the toil of demi-gods, you will pull out a single thread in an attempt to convince someone else to love it as much as you do. By winning the trust of the few individuals who guard the keep, you will use that thread to convince everyone (EVERYONE) – well people who like to read – but all the people – with better things to do in their lives than look at your embarrassing little trinket.
The long and short of it? Convince yourself. Convince someone else. Then convince a bunch more people that your bauble will give them the joy and wonder they seek.
Do it well enough and you’ve earned the right to do it all over again.
If you’ve ever climbed a mountain, you know that once you’ve reached the top, it’s kinda cool. Nice view and all. A little rest. Some water. A snack.
You climb back down.
Then you do it again if you can convince yourself that it’s worth it.