After spending two years writing my middle school novel, I thought I was finished, but it turns out, I wasn’t.
I was trying to send it out before its time. Or at least, that’s my rationale for the five literary agent rejections I received (smiley-face inserted here).
After those five rejections, I decided to pause and have an editor, Kate Juniper, read it.
The Waiting — After a few weeks, she sent the novel back to me with great ideas and directions. She saw much that was good, but also ways to make the novel even better.
Writing Again — At first, I didn’t want to touch it. I was attached to the way it was originally written. In a fit of nostalgia, I saved the original novel and created a copy for editing the novel.
I’m now following Kate’s excellent directions one at a time so that I don’t become overwhelmed.
Once I got into rereading, the parts that weren’t needed became obvious. Certain scenes didn’t serve the story or they weren’t propelling the plot forward. Now that I have a finished product, I can play with it, move sections around, add sensory details….it feels easier.
I’m working on the novel until the end of February. Then I’ll send it back to Kate in early March.
The Next Waiting — Her second full content editing round may take a month to six weeks.
Then it’s back to reaching out to agents. And lots more waiting!
And even if my novel is lucky enough to enter the publishing system, it still takes a long time, because the traditional book publishing world moves slowly.
Sometimes, the agent wants revisions before he or she will submit to editors. This can be 1-4 months or longer.
Pitching the novel to publishing houses can take 2 months to 2 years. It’s anyone’s guess.
If a person gets a book contract, the time between receiving the contract until your book is published can take 9 months to 2 years because of revisions back and forth between editor and writer.
I need to accept the fact that it’s just going to take a long time. Patience is a virtue. I better start gathering some up!