by Shelt Garner
Now that I’ve just about locked down the first two chapters of the third draft of this novel, I find myself pondering What Next. I still have a few more months of writing to finish the third draft, but I definitely am beginning to think about the querying process.
My big concern is, of course, that because I’m doing this in a vacuum that the somewhat provocative premise of the novel will make literary agents — who I imagine as being mostly liberal white women — either laugh or get angry. I have no idea if the “sex worker who solves a murder mystery” will be cool with literary agents or not because of that.
But “Barry” was popular, so, lulz, it’s at least *possible* that my similar type story might have broad appeal. And, yet, sexwork is so loaded in the minds of most people while being a hired assassin is a lulz that it’s possible it will just be too loaded for anyone to take seriously.
Yet the point is that I want a heroine is really, really interesting. Someone unexpected who you will want to hang out with for the time it takes to read ~140,000 words. I believe I have come up with just the type of evocative story that people will really find worth their time.
The holiday season is now here, so that is an added complication. My fear is that because of the holiday season and other “known unknowns” that I’ll really be pushing it to wrap this novel up no later than April 2024. Then I will have to save up the money to get a professional manuscript consultant to read over the third draft.
THEN I have to start to query just as the “Perfect Storm” of The Fourth Turning and the AI generated Petite Singularity happens in late 2024, early 2025. But, if nothing else, I definitely am happy with this story. There are probably going to be a lot — A LOT — of structural changes to the third act in the transition from second to third draft.
But I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.