I remember my novel before it had a main character. I remember the idea that started it all, the first chapter I ever wrote. I remember when I was so excited about my new project that I announced on my blog that it was "bright and fun and sparkles in the light." Hence the reason I dubbed it Project Sparkle.
But now it's a whole different ball game. I'm in the midst of the submission process, sending out query letters, trying to entice agents to read Project Sparkle for themselves. So I have to sell it.
And in order to sell Project Sparkle, I need to figure out how to describe it in a couple of sentences. I need to assign it a genre.
Commence the hair pulling.
My query letter had gone through several revisions; I thought it was pretty good. But when I sent it to my tutor, she wrote back that it was "unrepresentative of your novel... too complicated... too detailed..." So I went back to the drawing board. Several times.
Thankfully my tutor is happy with my latest result. She wrote back, "Much better. Start the second paragraph with a more general line, something like 'Part love story, part thriller...' Then I think it's fine."
"Part love story, part thriller?"
One side of me thought, "It is? I've written a thriller? My book is thrilling? Wow."
Another side of me thought, "Well, okay, but it's more of a psychological thriller... or maybe a paranormal thriller. And yes, there's a love story, but that's not the main plot line. There's also a lot about family. Should I add something about the pull of family?"
In the end, I decided to stick with Julia's advice.
Obviously I'm not very good at this whole selling thing. I never have been. When we were kids, my sister and I used to joke that I'd write books and she'd sell them for me (my sister was the queen of Girl Scout cookie sales). But it's even harder to figure out how to sell something I know so intimately.
I hope it gets easier. Because (hopefully!) this is just the beginning.