Some weeks ago I made a decision about the agent search, which was to swing for the fences. Recently, I was given cause to question that kind of mentality, but the thought hasn't yet fully formed. In the meantime, what came across my mind was to go after the agents of authors whom I admire. Beyond writing in similar genres, with similar (read: derivative) style, I felt like those agents would best understand the talent they represent, and be able to realize something comparable.
This week I finally acted on that. Idle searching of the internet in a sweltering, morning parking lot revealed a name, and a search of the name revealed the title of an agency. A few clicks from there, and I was faced with their submission guidelines:
"Send us an unadorned, unaccompanied letter as your first step, whether paper or e-mail. If we're interested, we'll e-mail you an invitation to submit additional materials and instructions on how to do so."
I've gotten a lot of practice over the years writing letters, and getting rejected. I have a clearer and clearer idea of what I might say, and how I might say it in whatever context. In reading those lines was surprised. I wrote some novels after all, as a kind of practice, then I wrote another novel, then I re-wrote that novel. After all that I thought I might be able to use it as some sort of climbing tool, or shielding device, or identification card, something. Here, it's useless, unless I can write a letter that will stand out among all the other letters, enough to warrant a reply, and a positive one at that. It creates a startlingly dry chill, even in the bright blaze of summer.
In other, less complex news, the writing continues. I stopped after chapter 10 to go over what I had done, and what I had planned to do, and how all of that had rolled out. Then I struck forward again, and I'm up to chapter 13. My notes and outline remain disjointed, in different physical locations and in various stages of disrepair. This time I have not used an electronic outline, and that has been very challenging. On the other hand, it has forced me to keep in mind what my narrative goals are, and that has kept the story in mind at almost all times. Barring head trauma, it might even work out better this way.
So, the year is half done, and in regards to making this an occasion of networking, I can recall some successes and failures both. As always seems the case, there are some things that could work out, if the stars align correctly. It keeps happening, and I keep hoping, despite a steady diet of evidence that I should maybe be doing something else. I guess that means that so far, for whatever pratfalls, I remain mostly in tact. Or maybe that I was a little broken from the start.