Update: Writing, Writing About Writing, and More Writing

MAY IS OVER ALREADY, and it’s been quite a month in the RBT world. Much has happened, and I’ll share it all here at some point. But for now, let me bring y’all up to date on the activity that’s taken up the majority of my time this year. And no, it isn’t running!

No, it’s true!

The main reason I haven’t posted much here is that I’ve been busy writing. My debut novel, Keeping the Faith, has been professionally critiqued and deemed worthy of publishing. Hooray! But as any author knows, the book itself is just the start of the process. Now comes the marketing to agents part.

A novel submission package generally consists of a query letter (pitch to the agent), a short synopsis (a brief summary of the book), and the first couple of chapters. The chapters are done, so that part’s easy. But it’s amazing how much work it takes to write a good two-page synopsis and one-page query letter. You try boiling down 160,000 words of prose (my novel’s length) into 1,000, or 500, and in a way that convinces potential agents that I’ve written the Great American Novel. When I get it right, I’ll share some details here.

Then comes finding agents that request submissions that match the book’s genre or category. In my case, this is New Adult, with the protagonist and the bulk of the readership, being roughly college age to early thirties. There are searchable database of agents out there, and I’ve begun going through them.

And then there’s what I call the “fact checking” phase, which is also what I’m doing right now. The novel includes a lacrosse game and a rowing championship race. As I’ve never played lacrosse or crewed, I need help getting the terms correct and the action sequences credible. Fortunately, I have some people helping me there.

And then there’s the STEM part. Marcus, my main character, is pursuing a major in civil engineering, and is living with a retired math professor. The Riemann Hypothesis, a famous unproved math conjecture, plays an important part in the book. So there’s all that to get right as well. (Any readers who have expertise here, please let me know ASAP.)

Regardless of outcome, this has been quite a learning process. And as long as I remember that, I can enjoy the adventure in progress. Maybe I’ll even write a book about it!

More to follow in future posts!

2 responses to “Update: Writing, Writing About Writing, and More Writing

  1. Congratulations on this milestone! And thanks again for being willing to trade query letters for feedback!

    • You’re very welcome! After even more editing, I submitted it, plus my draft synopsis and the opening chapters, to a pro out there who specializes in pitches. Turnaround in about two weeks. Til then, searching for agents and applying feedback from my fact checkers!

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