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  • Writer's pictureunkillbilly

Beware the Jabberwock, My Son

Updated: Mar 17, 2020

When it comes to The Plan…I’ve switched strategies.

I know, I know, don’t be changing horses midstream. What can I say? When The Plan was created, I did not have the perspective I have after working it some. Once I got to making decisions based on data, a new picture developed.

Going forward, I’ve decided to organize my hunt for an agent around the most polished offering. For me, that would be “The Seven Faces of Ambiguity”. I’m currently on revision 8.1, I fully expect a revision 9.X, but 9.X might be the last. There comes a point of diminishing returns on personal revisions. And I can’t afford a line editing by a pro.

By the way…I’m hoping not all my books require nine or ten revisions.

For real, combined with my penchant for putting manuscripts in ‘incubator’ status, multiple revisions stretch the lifetime of the project. Longer project equals fewer projects. I got too many books to write to allow that. I think I am becoming more proficient, who knows, maybe I’ll even decide to use one of the writer’s software for spelling, passive voice, punctuation, etc.

And that doesn’t even take the content I’m putting up on into account. I’m pretty ambitious for that aspect of my WIP. I hope to generate some dough off that website! I mean, I’ve been all in on it since my first attempt at creating a website. Wix is rich. I mean, with some time, I could make it sit up and bark. SEO, marketing, audio, video, music, podcasts, you name it. And somehow they manage to keep adding stuff. It’s pretty daunting, especially when it comes to developing your own functionality—which Wix offers and judging from the proliferation of YouTube videos on the subject, it’s a pretty robust offering.

So, whereas I was going to complete revisions in the queue as the top priority, I’m now looking at organizing around a title. The nature of “The Seven Faces of Ambiguity” (SFA) practically demands a sequel, which I’ve already written, “The Seven Faces of Ingenuity” (SFI). (At one point, the sequel was part II of the first book.) I’m hoping if SFA gets selected, the same publishing company will want SFI. So…the moves it to next in line in priorities once the sales cycle for SFA is completed.

The sales cycle for my target agency is via email. They want the first five pages of the novel, in the body of the email, not an attachment, with an optional 1-3-page synopsis. I’m going for the elevator pitch, a page or less, on my synopsis. So, a killer synopsis for each story is part of the sales cycle, at least for SFA.

Some of my decisions are guided by an assumption I’m making. That is, I’ll use one agency for one set of works, and a different agency for some other work. If my analysis is correct, my quirky science fiction will go to one agency, while my autofiction will go to a different group. I’ve got a target for the quirky stuff—once I get around to that priority, I will identify someone or group to which to pitch “Silly Old Lady” (SOL), my autofiction on my relationship with mom.

At some point I need to consider the possibility of ‘what’s next’ if my target agency for SFA declines. I’ve got access to the “Writer’s Digest Guide to Agencies”. I think selection of alternative depends on some perusal of the Guide, and it didn’t take long to zero in on a target. I was thumbing, the guide, skimming it, when I cam across a name I recognized. Jabberwocky. It’s a an odd thing that I happened to be conversant in Lewis Carroll’s “The Jabberwocky”. “ ‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gymbal in the wabe.” Then, when I saw that the URL for the agency was, I knew I’d found my first candidate. I swear, been lookin’ for about five minutes when I found that one. It appears to align nicely with whatever my genre is (I’m hoping some professional who reads it will say, “Oh yeah, this is such and such genre.” That will be my only clue.)

And of course, one consideration that goes in the production cycle after a decline: Do I send it out again, or do I just go straight to Amazon and self-publish? But that’s a decision I’m not going to be concerned with at this point.

I got a feelin’ about Jabberwocky…

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