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Rated: 13+ · Letter/Memo · Contest Entry · #2108463
I believed ... Ha ha.
All Words: 1245

Dear Me,

Yup. More fool you.

2016 has been the most foolish year yet, hasn't it, of all the forty-nine years you've lived so far?

I mean, how naive can you get?

So you believed the lady when she said, "Write it up, I'll publish it." You actually worked on a novella based on that! *Rolling* Yeah, yeah, you started writing it only because she liked the idea you pitched during her creative writing workshop. You even clarified your target audience with her, and had a couple of conversations in the middle, telling her how you were progressing and how you were writing it to her specifications. You still believed she would publish it? And you were actually outraged when she said 'very well written but not my genre'? Really! Let me look up all the synonyms for naive that I can find, shall I?

So you're stuck with this novella thingie at the start of 2017. Kind of like being all dressed up with nowhere to go. Okay, take your time to stew in your juice about her perfidy. It won't get you anywhere, but you need to do it. Get it out of your system. Give yourself a few more days to mumble under your breath about people who don't keep their word. (Oh, you naive thing. *Smirk2*)

And then, get on with it.

Get off your butt, stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop expecting the world to be fair, and move it, move it.

What are your options?

Pitch the novella to other publishers. There are plenty of cats in that clutter. Yup, yup. Lots of kittens in that kettle. Oodles of ostriches in that oasis. Whatever animal or bird works for you. Just pitch the thing to that creature. It can't hurt.

What's that?

You're going to work on it some more?

You're going to make it the best gosh-darn piece of literature on the planet, so that it wins all the awards it can possibly be entered for, so that she'll regret rejecting it? Okay, whatever rocks your boat. If that's what'll make you work on it, work on it for that reason. Revenge is as good a motive as any. Gives you a bit of an edge, actually.

There's more?

You've thought of a way of turning it in to a novel, and are going to experiment with that idea? Sure, sure, go ahead. This is the first time you're working on a long-form thingie and now that you've put in this much work, you want to pump in a bit more and have the 'novel' tag on it. Fine. Just don't mess it up completely, that's all. Remember that too many ingredients spoil the soup. (I know the real proverb is something about too many cooks, but since you're the only human here, I had to improvise.)

So let's get to it, shall we?

You are going to add to this thingie, to convert it from a mere novella to an award-winning novel.

For that, you need an outline -- a plan, a scheme -- how you're going to add what to your existing plot-line, and where. Get that outline done in January. By January 31, 2017, you should have the outline in place, of what you're going to add to your masterpiece.

Then write it. Actually toss in those bits that are to be tossed in. But carefully. Not like that, just tossing them in. They have to fit there. They have to flow smoothly. Take a bit of time to craft those. Say, a month. Take the whole of February.

Then, take a break.

Let it rest for a bit.

Read it again in mid-March and polish it up. It has to win every gosh-darn award it can, remember? That is certainly not going to happen with a first draft. So polish, polish, polish. And you know there's a sneaking voice in your head saying you've rushed the existing climax. Work on that. Slow it down.

Okay, so second draft by the end of March, fair enough?

Then start getting your close friends to read it and give you their comments. Evaluate all suggestions and use the sensible ones to the hilt. Remember to get both reader-type comments and writer-type comments. If you can get a few editor-type comments and a couple of publisher-type comments as well, that's so many more canapes on the crockery. (Icing on the cake is too sugary and too fattening. Besides, it's sort of passe.)

So -- get and incorporate feedback.

And then start approaching publishers.

Yes, yes, mumble-grumble, you thought you had a publisher already. You've given yourself a few days to finish grumbling about that, so you can't start again here. That's over. Life isn't fair. You're going to take the sweetest revenge you can, by winning those awards. So stop grumbling.

Start the rounds of publishers.

Get help to write up that query letter and the synopsis.

Yes, GET HELP to do that. You don't know enough to do it yourself, this is the first time you're attempting something like this. Don't botch up your chances because you're too proud to ask experienced friends for help. Get the query letter and synopsis done by mid-April, and shoot it off. I'm not sure exactly what 'shoot it off' means, it just sounded good. So find that out. Find out what it means to shoot off a query letter and synopsis to publishers and do that. Stop thinking of grumbling here and now, you're going to bug anyone reading this letter. You're starting to bug me.

So you've shot off the query letter. (After finding out what that means.)

Now, while waiting for the response, don't bite all your finger-nails off, and please spare your toe-nails. You really are weird, you know. Talking of biting your toe-nails off. That's gross.

Anyway, don't bite your nails off while waiting.

Spend the time constructively.

Start on your second novel.

You haven't got an idea for a second novel? Don't kid me. You have twenty novels rattling around in your head. I'm not flattering you. They say everyone has twenty novels rattling around in their respective heads. Don't quibble about who 'they' are, now. You know, they are 'they'.

Yup, yup, see? You stop saying 'haven't got' and you think up ideas, don't you? Sure, you can make an adventure story of your childhood memories of the holiday house you went to every year. Of drawing water from the well and learning how to gather cow-dung (that's bovine poop) without flinching. The cow-dung was used as fertiliser. I know, I know, you never did learn to gather that cow-dung. You left that to the caretaker's kids to do, and they laughed at you for being so squeamish. But hey, in your book, you can be the queen of the bovine poop. You can be anything! It's your book, see!

So start letting your second book float around in your head. (Yup, bovine poop floats!) Okay, okay, seriously, though, start outlining your second novel. You've done some outlining already, you're pretty good at it by now. Then write that second novel, based on the outline. Then ... you know the drill.

And, dear me, one thing more. Dream. Dream of the awards. Dream of the movie rights to the first book. Dream of the movie rights to the second book. It doesn't hurt to dream big. It isn't foolish. It's nice. Dream big.

Have a great year, me!

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