Hey, friends. I know I got wrapped up talking about life, moving, and Napa in the last post, so I thought it might be a good time to clear the air and talk about where I am with writing. I've been busy! I have a novel, 2 novellas, and a couple of new stories all sitting on my hard drive. They're all in pretty good shape, but this past year, I've been focused on the novel, a dark, character-driven thriller set in east Texas.
Some stories arrive on the creativity express train, all neat and packaged and ready to be poured from your brain. Some show up like lumps of metal, needing to be smelted, massaged, and hammered into shape. This novel was definitely the latter. I've spent the better part of the last year revising and editing, collecting feedback from fellow writers, and iterating like a madman. The effort is on the page, though; it's the best thing I've written.
You might think the hard part is over, but with the novel finished, I'm now headed into even more difficult territory: that dark, abyssal penumbra writers refer to as Query Hell In other words, it's time to sell it. The Aeschylus was something of a surprise indie success, but I've decided to set my sights higher this time and aim for a traditional publisher. I think the story deserves it.
I went a writer's conference in Manhattan this past December to work on my pitch and start making agency contacts. It was worth the effort. I walked away with a handful of solicited manuscript requests, as well as some suggestions for revision. I also made some new writer friends, got to workshop the novel, and learned a hell a lot about pitching agents. Pitching ideas and narratives is something I've done quite a lot as a game developer, but not nearly as much as a writer. I've sold a few short stories, but believe me, ladies and gents, a novel is an entirely different ball of wax.
Anyway, the revisions are finally done, and I'm really happy with where the book is now. It's time to start sending out those requests. Will anything come of it? Who knows. All I know is, I'm still in love with the book, and I have my blacksmith hammer ready if an agent or editor points out any lumps. Hopefully, they won't. At this point, it's a damn shiny piece of metal.