Well, yesterday I sent out a new batch of queries.
I think that both my query letter and story are much stronger than they were at this time last year, but I suppose I’ll have to wait and see what sort of response I get.
The issue that’s going to work against me the worst, I believe, is length. Hands, Like Secrets is bloody long, both for a debut and especially for the YA market. And there’s only so far I can knock it back without compromising the story. At best…at the very, very best I can do on my own…I might could knock it back to 118,000 or so. That’s how long Twilight is. Twilight was a debut, and a YA to boot. It’s not impossible.
It just makes an already difficult job harder.
I try to tell myself that Eragon was somewhere in the neighborhood of 150,000 words, and it took off nonetheless. However, Eragon was originally self-published, and had something like a year to gain momentum before a publisher ever picked it up. I will self-publish Hands if I absolutely have to, but I want to exhaust all my other options first.
I’m about to get back to work on Promises, Like Tears, which has become a bit bogged down. I think there’s a lot in there that I need to go back and cut, or rearrange, and I can’t quite decide if I should do that first or just push on to the end and THEN come back. The latter is probably the better option.
Changed Shades to Seven Shades. I really have no reason other than it sounds more interesting. And the characters occasionally swear by it. The only fact I’ve established is that there are seven “shades” in shayol, and I haven’t really worked out why that’s important. Might become relevant in the last book, when Saeli is briefly taken to shayol by the Keeper of the Oath. I suppose I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.
I’ve also decided to attempt NaNoWriMo this year, and see if I can’t get This Chosen Fate written. It’s all plotted out; all I have to do is sit down and write it. That’s something I really need to practice: writing straight through something without going into editing mode. And this way I’ll have something besides Shades to shop around…something that isn’t as long