28000 / 80000 words. 35% done!

Metafictional progress: Figured out what the Old Woman’s arc should look like, which is good, since it needed to start, like, two chapters ago. Found out a better way to do spell-checking. That might seem like small potatoes to some of you, but remember that I do my writing in Vim and LaTeX, which means that I have great power at the expense of occasional inconvenience. Spell-checking used to be one of those inconveniences. Sent out a new query for the last novel.

Fictional progress: Brought the Barbarian Warlord into the city. Had the Heroine go out and shoot some arrows at the invaders, which got her into a spot of trouble. Rescued by One-Eye in time for a quick getaway. The Old Woman fell into despair over her apparent uselessness (see above comments about arc), but the Heroine came by to rescue her, too.

Choice Morsel o’ the Time Period:

She listened to the water swirl around the oars. If it spoke to her, it seemed only to say Not yet, not yet, not yet.

Fifty years I’ve waited, she said back. If you won’t let me die, will you tell me why I’m here?

And the water answered not yet, not yet, not yet.

Yet another manila envelope sits at my door, waiting to be dropped in the mail slot tomorrow morning.

I’m now about halfway down my initial list of agents to query. I haven’t yet decided what to do if I get to the bottom…

Sent out Lights again. Sort of: I e-subbed it, then immediately got a note back saying that I had formatted something wrong. It’ll take me a bit to fix it for reasons too boring to explain, but it’ll be really re-subbed tomorrow.

Agent Kristin had an informative post about author websites. In particular, she said this:

What you might not want to include is a whole play-by-play of your current editor, agent, or publisher search. This could backfire. I have seen sites where an author has clearly outlined all the rejections (sometimes the letters are posted there verbatim!). It would make me think twice about asking for the full (although the one time I encountered it, I did end up requesting the full as opinions can vary widely) but think of the psychology impact of that. If lots of people are saying NO, maybe I’ll think twice about saying YES.

Um, oops. I’ve been doing more or less this, counting the number of rejections and then advertising them here on the blog. And I take her point that this might give a bad impression. So I’m changing tacks, slightly. I’ll still talk about the Quest For Publication, but I’m not going to give the names of the places I’m submitting to, at least not until someone buys it. Then you’d better believe that I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops.

So The Confession of Adrianna Belle, Princess and The Other City were both submitted today. That makes four things that I have out at the same time, which is… not that many, but it’s more than I’ve had out for a long time.

Strange Horizons doesn’t want Lights on the Horizon, and Matt Bialer doesn’t want An Inheritance of Stars. Tough to get two of those in the same day.

The book goes to Colleen Lindsay next, I think. I haven’t decided the next place for Lights, since at 650 words it’s too long for Ideomancer and too short for Clarkesworld. Apex and Abyss, maybe, or one of the smaller flash mags.

UPDATE: Sent Lights to Flash Fiction Online, and Inheritance to La Gringa. Is it a bad idea to publicize your submissions this way? Hmmm…