The First Three Chapters

Our puppy is calming a bit. Mrs. Lion found the time and energy to tease me a little on Tuesday. I was horny and enjoyed the attention. It’s nice to feel things returning to normal. I’ve mentioned that I’ve been writing a novel. I gave up on the idea of a self-published spanking romance. My effort yielded almost no sales. It’s easy and fun for me to write porn. However, it’s no test of my skill as a novelist.

I’ve been working on a novel with no explicit sex. It’s been a long slog. Writing is hard work. It’s finished, I think and I sent requests for representation to a few literary agents. Each agent receives thousands of these a year. They usually require a query letter that is a sort of advertising blurb for the book, along with sample pages. Most ask for the first five or ten pages. Some want to see the first few chapters.

I sent out about twenty on Monday. On Tuesday, I got three rejections. That’s depressingly fast! Yesterday, I got a request for the full manuscript. From what I’ve read, about ten percent of submissions result in this request. It’s one step closer to getting an agent and possibly selling my book.

Book publishing is a depressingly difficult world to enter. Hundreds of thousands of would-be authors compete for a small number of publishing slots. Editors and publishers stopped accepting unsolicited manuscripts years ago. The only way in is through literary agents. The agents represent the filter between author and publisher. Getting an agent is the necessary first step. Those first rejections on Tuesday were heartbreaking for me. I’m so grateful for Wednesday’s encouragement.

I’m not pretending that I can write literature. My first book is a sort of romance novel. I like stories with happy endings (couldn’t you guess?). I think of myself as the character played by Jack Nicholson in “As Good as It Gets.” His character plays a romance novel writer. When asked how he writes women so well, he says, “ I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.” I’m kidding. I love that line.

Anyway, I’m more hopeful than I was yesterday. Someone wants to read the entire manuscript. Even if the agent passes, at least I know someone liked the first three chapters.

What do you think?