I started writing my book Red Star Sheriff roughly two years ago. I’m happy to report that I finished all the major edits to it within the last few weeks (though wordcount seems to be a sticking point on getting it published through a traditional venue–so I still have to evaluate that angle). I’ve been polishing and polishing and polishing. And then I sent it out to an agent I thought might be a good match for it!
I got a rejection letter the very next day.
Yes, my wordcount is way too high and, apparently, is the first thing agents and publishers look at regardless of how well written the story might be. Which leaves just two options. Continue whittling it down and eliminating certain story beats until you reach an acceptable number of words (weird how the number of words is the Achilles heel of writing), or say screw it and put it up on Kindle. Still would rather hit the traditional angle. However, my manuscript is sitting at around 187, 000 words and I’m being told between 100k and 120k would be the acceptable parameters of sci-fi.
I suppose there’s a chapter I could cut and some frivolous word usage that could be dumped. However, we’re talking maybe ten to twenty thousand words ditched at best without sacrificing major story beats of the novel. Meaning I’d be at around 160 thousand or so. Implying I’d have to start cutting into the meat and bones of the story itself. Not a whole lot of wiggle room when I wrote this massive story.
Therefore, I may just either A) sit it to the side while I work on another novel or B) sling it up on Kindle and hope that it’ll reach a wider audience in the future. Get into traditional print after finding a book an agent will actually want to accept.
No, I haven’t given up finding an agent. In fact, I’ll probably send it out to others just to make sure nobody else won’t just accept such a thick tome of literary distraction. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Expected to be rejected in fact. Just not in one day. I thought a few weeks. A few months even. Not refuse to even read the first few pages. Just look at the wordcount and say, ‘denied’.
Oh well. Live and learn, am I right? Anyhow, that’s how THAT’s going. Right now, I’m working on another book. One that will be more fantasy driven. Maybe along the lines of Harry Potter or the like. Hopefully, this one will be shorter and more manageable. Red Star just demanded significant amounts of exposition and character development. Ahead of my time, I suppose! We’ll go with that. In the interim, I’ll also be working on some stop motion animations again. Get back into my Star Cloud schtick. Always had fun with that.
Anyhow, time to get back to it. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more of my thoughts in the future.
~Timothy S Purvis