"Taking a novel from idea to published isn't just a marathon. It's a marathon followed by a triathlon with the Poseidon Adventure tacked on at the end!"
- D.S. Tierney on Twitter
The process of taking my initial idea for Dark Ages all the way through to where I'm at now has been a lengthy one. Being a writer with a day job, it took commitment to come home after a grueling day and hold myself accountable to put in an hour or 1000 words of writing. I set deadlines, some I conquered and some conquered me. Until finally, the first draft was done.
Part of the writing process I always heard about, but waved a dismissive had at, was the writing group. After a chance encounter at a Yelp event my wife dragged me to, I got involved in a group - and it was the best thing I could have done. Not only for my novel, but for my understanding of writing and readability. The group has been able to point out my shortcomings and focus my strengths. The insights they provided were the kind you're not going to get from Cousin Larry, whose sole comment will be, "It's good."
Utilizing their feedback, I crafted a second draft and then a third. Now, armed with a fully edited and operational manuscript, your puny rebel fleet will... Sorry, I went Palpatine on you for a moment. As I was saying, with my manuscript in the best form I can take it to, I am ready to begin the journey of agent hunting.
This is a process in itself! Over the last few months, I have participated in webinars and feedback sessions. Writers Digest University online is a good forum for this. Feedback from working agents helped me tweak my query letter, my first chapter and avoid some of the pitfalls of the hunt. After that I researched agents who represent Adult Fantasy and then researched them further.
This is where I must leave the thread, dangling like a cliffhanger. To date, I have submitted my query a hundred times and will a hundred more. Each day I open my inbox, hoping for the one response that says, "Sure! Send me more!" When that day comes, I will update you, my true believers!