Writing Conference, Part 2

As I talked about last week, I recently attended a writing conference.  This was my first writing conference, and it literally blew my mind.  I had to retreat to my room to weather the subsequent crash in which my mind basically melted.

My agent appointment with Eric Smith went well.  I was a lot less nervous for having talked to him the night before.  He’s very laid-back and approachable.  After I blew through my deliberately short pitch, I discovered that we have a shared interest in queer YA, and he requested that I email him.  On the one hand, I love his energy and excitement.  On the other hand, I’m a little concerned because my research didn’t really reveal who he represents, and it turns out that he’s pretty new.  On the third hand, he’s with a very reputable agency, and the authors he does represent have books coming out.

My editor appointment with Diana Stout also went relatively well.  My synopsis was a train wreck and my Scrivener export had some really annoying artifacts in it.  I didn’t feel too badly about that, since I only had a couple of days between when I was told I could sign up for an editor appointment and when the materials deadline was, (oh, and I’d never written a synopsis before) but I wasn’t about to make excuses.  We had a very limited time and I was more interested in hearing what her overall impressions were.  She really liked the characters’ voices, but think I picked the wrong character as the main character.  After some reflection, I agree.  The character that I wrote the test chapter around isn’t as active as the second character.  I’m going to need to move some things around as I’m revising that draft.

The best part is that I’m extremely energized to get back to work.  As I’ve been slogging away through the business side of writing, the query letters and synopses and spreadsheets of agents I’ve researched, I’ve been getting more discouraged about whether my desire to do this is realistic or even sane.  The business side doesn’t spark my passion the way the writing side does.

But I’ve put a lot of time and energy into learning this craft.  I want to take it to the next level and elevate it to an art.  I want to get paid for my art.  And then I want to walk through a train station and see someone reading something I wrote.  I’ve been persevering since 2013, and not only can I keep on going, I owe it to myself to see this through.

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