A Farm Girl, A Wizard And A Sword Walk Into A Bar
This is the ending of a year and the beginning of a new one, filled with hope and promise. Like many people, I am making goals for the new year, not the least of which focus on my writing.
In December, a group of writers and agents decided to do a mentor program. Writers would submit a query, the first five pages and a pitch about their completed work. They chose from the list of writers and agents willing to mentor a writer and hoped they would be accepted.
I strongly considered doing this. FAR RIDER is finished, has been revised and is in the process of what I hope is close to a final revision in hopes of securing an agent. These last three revisions have been requested by an agent, revise and re-send is the term. Obviously, it’s a great honor and positive step to get this far and frankly, even though it’s my story, I think it’s a good one and it was worth the effort.
I had second thoughts about submitting to this workshop because I would really hate for a mentor agent to work with me and be told I have been revising for another agent. Now, granted, I haven’t been offered a contract so the agent owes me nothing nor, technically, do I owe her anything. However, I feel I owe her a lot and she should get first right of refusal.
So, this little tidbit nagged at me, but I still thought it would be a really good workshop to get the pitch, query and manuscript in better shape.
What finally decided me not to participate was a comment an agent made. I don’t recall the exact wording, but it was something to the effect of, “God save me from another farm boy who goes off to save the world with a magical sword or ring and an old wizard.”
Now, Gen is female, not male, but holy smoke did that hit close to home. It hit close enough I have spent the past few weeks wondering if FAR RIDER was simply more practice on the way to the right story. I wondered why I had added in the sentient sword and the wizard and realized they certainly weren’t planned. They were characters who walked fully born into the story and introduced themselves as if they had always been there, just waiting to come on stage.
Maybe they were.
I’ve spent several nights thinking about this as I’m trying to go to sleep, debating on whether I should just shelve it and move on to something else. Then I think NYA (New York Agent) saw enough to give it to her minions to do a complete read twice. Both times the story was greatly improved based on their recommendations and the last time the agent sent back detailed comments, recommendations and the invitation to send back.
That has to count for something.
Then Doubt comes creeping back to plague the mind and whisper words of despair.
I belong to a crit group and it was my turn to send something in. Past my turn. I confess I was wondering if I really want to spend any more time on FR or go back to DRAGON VALLEY, my new project I’m working on.
I started reading back through FR, looking for a section to send and found myself reading scenes I had already sent. Then I caught myself reading more than I had planned. I remembered bits and pieces that reached out to me as a reader. This is a work I have created. I shouldn’t really be interested in reading it. I wrote it. I know what happens. That probably sounds egotistical. Heaven knows I’ve also had enough of the “Argh, I hate this stupid story,” moments.
I suppose the final thought is FAR RIDER may never sell. No one has any guarantees save one. If I give up on it, it certainly will never see the light of day. I have to trust the story is strong enough to lure readers in even if it is just a farm girl who dreams of being a Far Rider.
Perhaps that is the secret to any success. Don’t give up.