Sunday, August 9, 2009

The 40 Most Exciting Parts

STAGE ONE

1. Getting the EARTH-SHATTERING idea that will SHATTER THE EARTH.
2. Nailing the first scene.
3. Figuring out the climax (an important step in any girl's life).
4. Writing an awesome snippet of dialogue.
5. Finishing the first draft.

STAGE TWO

6. Remember that first scene you nailed? Deleting it. Realizing you didn't need it in the first place.
7. Discovering how to rescue the terrible murky middle from the pits of the earth.
8. Making up a better ending.
9. Saying the same thing in less words.
10. Realizing your book is absolute crap and that you will need to write a new one. Trunking the first one. Starting over from stage 1. Repeating all of stage 2. Again. And again.
11. Ohmigod if I look at this manuscript one more time I just might scream.

STAGE THREE

12. Finding an agent on agentquery who practically begs for your book.
13. Getting a form rejection from her. Your thirst for success deepens.
14. Querying a bunch of agents who sound eh sort of okay maybe they'll like it?
15. Getting your first personalized rejection.
16. Getting your first request.
17. Peeing yourself while you wait.
18. Sending out revenge queries when you are rejected (this is not when you query the same agent again. This is when you query a different agent to show the industry that you will not be tread upon. Most everyone I've ever queried was revenge queried. Shhh don't tell them.)
19. Getting that "Hey I like your book..." email
20. The offer.
21. The phone call.
22. The stars and twinkly lights.

STAGE FOUR

23. Seeing the submission list.
24. Going out on submission.
25. Getting rejections back where editors call you by your last name and talk about you like you're not there. "Though Moskowitz adeptly explores the unicorns in the novel, she neglects to expand on the main premise of the novel. Indeed, I wondered why I was reading a novel about unicorns when I expected one about a boy who wanted to break all his bones." Note: This rejection is not real. BREAK is probably not about unicorns. Probably.)
26. "Hey, so I think an editor might be interested."
27. That editor is interested.
28. Let's talk numbers.

STAGE FIVE

29. Talking to your editor on the phone.
30. Getting a MASSIVE BOX OF BOOKS from her. (Was this just me? Well it rocked.)
31. Seeing the cover.
32. Seeing the cover.
33. Seeing the cover.
34. Chopping out random lines of witty dialogue someone doesn't like. Realizing how unnecessary they were.
35. Wondering how the hell this paragraph got into your manuscript.
36. Changing 7-11 to 7-Eleven because your copyeditor tells you to.
37. Seeing what customers who pre-ordered your book on Amazon also ordered.
38. The first review.
39. Realizing your book comes out in 16 days.
40. Seeing that bitch on a bookshelf. I assume.

6 comments:

elissa said...

hahaha perfect! I am currently simultaneously in all of steps 1-18! (though with different manuscripts, one would hope...)

Daniel Tricarico said...

Hannah,

This is a fun, funny, and insightful outline of the process. It pays to keep a sense of humor about all of it. I've been stuck somewhere between 17-19 for quite some time between two different YA novels, but I know someday it'll happen.

I've been enjoying this blog since I've come across it, and this post is one of the reasons for my enjoyment.

Thanks. Hope you keep writing.

Dan

April said...

"34. Chopping out random lines of witty dialogue someone doesn't like. Realizing how unnecessary they were."
Sometimes I love this step...and sometimes I just like to crack up at some witty dialogue I don't even remember writing.

althrasher said...

3. Figuring out the climax (an important step in any girl's life).

<3 this line.

I'd love to get past step 12 sometime...

Stephen Duncan said...

This is great! Though, my experience so far has been just a bit different. I'd add, Number Twenty Two and Three Quarters: The stars and twinkly lights fade and your agent says, "Hey, there are a few things I want you to look at in regards to your prose." Thus begins another round of edits.

hannah said...

Ah, good point, good point. Weirdly I skipped that step for BREAK, though I made up for it when it got to my editor.