I took a moment during the holiday break to evaluate 2011 with regard to my writing and other creative endeavors. It was one hell of a year, one that was dedicated to feeding my muse. During 2011, I managed to complete two novel manuscripts, and drove the second manuscript well into revision. I also completed the BJCP examination and am now a Certified Beer Judge.
For the moment, 2012 is shaping up to be an extension of this creative thrust. For now, my focus is on Dorian Lake, the Curse Merchant.
At the end of the year, I was thrilled to receive the last of the comments from my beta readers. I adore criticism when given constructively, and my readers were fabulous in their constructive input and the speed at which they finished the manuscript. Allow me a moment to post some uncredited and unqualified comments out of context:
“That’s a hell of a story… I raced through the last half because I could not wait to see what was going down next.”
“It’s fast-paced, especially once you get into the thick of the story and things begin to unfold. The end events deliver satisfaction.”
“Dorian Lake is a complicated character. You absolutely wrote a person with a million facets. It made me realize how often men are written in very hard lines with little emotional depth.”
“The main character did his job well. I don’t think I was supposed to love him, and I didn’t, but wanted to see how he was going to fix the situation.”
“Thanks for letting me read it! It was a gripping story and I shamelessly admit to ignoring my work so I could finish it.”
It’s not often that I blow my own horn, but comments like these truly restore a writer’s forward momentum. Not to say that all of the input was so glowing… I simply cut and pasted the excerpts that made me fist-pump. I’ve taken the comments given and went another round with the Revision Dragon. I came out largely unscathed, though my armor is slightly tarnished with burn marks.
The Curse Merchant is now in the hands of an editor, where it will endure the beating of its life! During this down time, I’ve begun to research my options… literary agents in particular. Now begins the sharpening of my querying skills, wherein I must entice an agent in only a few words. It’s an art in itself, and there’s a plethora of commentary online that I’ve already combed through. Once the manuscript comes limping back home from the editor’s inbox, I’ll give it its due convalescence, and embark upon the query process in earnest.
Meanwhile, the outlining of the sequel has already begun, and I’m already excited about it! I’m waffling over the title, but the front runner is The Curse Merchant’s Principle. The sequel will be a dramatic, personal journey for Dorian, and I frankly can’t wait to read it, much less write it.