Testing the waters

When I put my work out to the world I expect some people to respond. That response can be greatly varied from super negative and overwhelming to ultra positive and everywhere in between. Sometimes the feedback is just fluff, hate or nonsense. However, sometimes there is constructive elements to it.

It may not always be obvious. As I’m getting more and more no’s from my queries I start to wonder. Why? Sure there are the variables I’ve discussed such as the slush pile syndrome, to the agents being too busy or not actually open to queries (even though they say they are) or they’re not the right agent for the story. Whatever that may be, there are a great deal of reasons.

Keeping a positive outlook is hard to do. Still I strive to look forward to possibilities not back at what didn’t happen.

Yes I’m getting to a point. With so much negative response it’s easy to question myself and my work. It’s going to happen that is human nature. So what do I do about it? I look at it objectively. I try to recognize the criticism as constructive no matter what. There is no place for mega ego here that will get me nowhere. Since the first chapter is what all agents are looking at perhaps there is something amiss. I’m not going to say wrong but I have to be open to the possibility that it’s not quite right.

I’m not saying that it’s time to panic or second guess myself at all. Just that I’m aware. If I send out 300 queries and they all say no perhaps something needs to change. While the end of my query quest is far from the end i have a long way to go I’m looking forward and preparing for the possibility that I need to be objective and make a change.

This is where an outside perspective might help, but only if they can be honest and I’m not going to freak out. I won’t, I’m a fairly level-headed person.

So I looked at the first chapter and I looked at the tone, perspective and over all feel. While I love it and its perfect IMO, if I’m honest it has a slight military feel to it. Huh. Not at all what the story is about nor what I meant. However the method of the main character in that situation definitely comes across as military or police. Then I realized something. The first chapter POV is following the secondary not the main character. Hmmm… So my solution is to re-write the first chapter. Maybe once, maybe a few times with a couple different approaches. This for me will be a good way to see if the POV is what might be tripping up the agents.

There is no harm to do this because it’s just one chapter, that incidentally came after the book was written. This does not mean I’m scrapping what I wrote, just testing the waters to see if I got the tone or feel of the chapter off because of the perspective.

To be honest I’m a bit excited to try out a few other angles for the first chapter to the book. Since I’ve written a few more books that follow it, the opportunity to get it perfect, to craft the perfect version of the introduction.

My advice about being open to feedback.
Whatever the form it comes in don’t take it too personally, but don’t dismiss it altogether. It’s an opportunity to see potential if you’re open-minded about it.

-Sheryl

Other posts that are more fun than this one. 😉

It’s really very unnecessary

The jerk-face warrior

Bacon, Banter and Coffee

Missing body parts

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9 thoughts on “Testing the waters

  1. You are a strong determined capable woman. I love that about you. I love that you don’t allow yourself to be crushed, but carry on with your dream, perfecting, changing, with what’s going on around you. It’s truly remarkable. Because you are open, you’ll indeed perfect what you need to. It’s also in the eye of the beholder. Is there a way to narrow down who you send to? ie those interested in the genre of the book? The first book I sent out met with rave reviews but the problem was the people originally publishing romantic mysteries had gone out of that business and were publishing other books (sci-fi, doctorate thesis, and in one case articles on science). It may have taken years, because life happened, but I still did it, albeit “my way”. snickers so I know with certainty it will happen for you. I LOVE your work and it’s simply a matter of the right moment at the right time, and you are going to FLY!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, narrowing down is not my goal. It’s a numbers game. The more that see it the more chance I have. As for genre, I stick to those within my genre and subgenres. I know I’ll get there I have no intention of giving up. Thanks for the kind words. ❤

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  2. Just love your determination ! Writing a book is something I’ve dreamed of . I’m a singer actually but I enjoy writing so just dreaming ahead . It’s so nice to see someone so open to growth and challenge. I like that you’re willing to re-write, go onto new ideas , just see if there’s another way to tell your story! Sooooooo exciting! I’d like to be like this too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the personal share. I have yet to send anything ‘out there’ except on my blog. I am in the process of beginning to test the waters about when is the right time. Your personal share was very helpful!

    Liked by 1 person

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