Keeping going

The Chimney Rabbit is still looking for an agent. After last week’s rejection by an agent, I’ve submitted a query to another agency to fill that gap. I keep a spreadsheet that lists the agent, agency and date submitted so I don’t do something horrible like submit to the same agent twice. So far I haven’t had to worry about chasing agents up – a query can take six to eight weeks to be dealt with, apparently, but so far the range has been between 14 hours (which must be a record!) and 25 days.

Every day I check my spreadsheet and wonder if today will be the day I add another entry to the Response column. I’d consider it a massive step forward for an agency to request to see the full manuscript – so far the decisions have been made on submissions of anything from five pages to the first three chapters.

In the meantime, work on the sequel, The Chimney Rabbit and the Underground Mice, is continuing. The book stands at about 37,000 words, so, assuming it comes in close to The Chimney Rabbit‘s 71,000 words, it’s a little over half-way written. I did have an enormous problem where I’d written myself into a ridiculous situation – after some adventures, I was going to have to bring my heroes up from the underground to the surface, only for them to go back under. Back, forward, back, forward… it just didn’t work. I couldn’t just leave them down there, because I needed to advance the plot on the surface.

It took a very long bath (I do most of my planning in the bath) to come up with a solution, but once I’d done that the structure of the second half fell into place. Scrivener was great for planning out the chapters – now all (all!) I need to do is fill in the gaps.

Scrivener helped, too, when I had a problem with my interwoven chapters. I’d split up my two main characters so they could get some time to have the spotlight to themselves, and had given them turn about, chapter by chapter. At one point I realised I needed to split two of the chapters into four, then reorder them so the chronology made sense – in Word, I’d have been cutting and pasting for ages and probably messing everything up. In Scrivener, it took 60 seconds.

So the plan is: continue keeping an eye on the inbox for responses from agents, keep writing the sequel, try not to let rejection get to me. There are plenty of agents out there, and I’ve got plenty more writing about chimney rabbits and underground mice to go, so I’m going to be busy with all that for at least the next couple of months.


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