Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Rule of 25

Hi guys - so, I haven't blogged in a while - it's been almost a month!  Holy Hell...time flies when you're not writing and stuck on a corporate grind.  Fortunately, the lady who runs the main writing blog I follow always serves to motivagte me with the things she posts.  Her two most recent entries have me feeling very "in the mood" get some writing done, that is!  Roni Loren (The Fiction Groupie) has just signed a two-book deal to kick off her series and the books are due early in 2012, then again in the summer of that year.  She got a book deal!  That's awesome!  What I've realized is that I need to find the discipline to get there!  So...I've decided that I'm going to try Kresley Cole's "Rule of 25".  She says that this was integral to her success as a writer.  It sounds like a lot of work (because IT IS), but I think it will also force me to stick to a structure.  It's a lot for me to re-tell, so I'll let Kresley tell y'all (she's a writer afterall - so she does know what she's doing!).

Kresley Cole explains the "Rule of 25":

"As soon as I’d completed my first manuscript, I enlisted my husband to help me devise a plan to get it published. Since both of us have backgrounds in competitive sports, and that was what we knew best, we decided to attack the process of selling the book as if it were an aggressive training goal. We called our plan the "Rule of 25."

At any given time, I would have in play 25 ventures toward publication, which I called juggling 25 "balls in the air" (it sounded so much more innocent back then). A ball could be one of five things: a contest entry, a confirmed conference registration often with an editor/ agent appointment, a formal critique in progress, a proposal sent to an agent, or a query to a publisher.

We put together an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of everything, and if I checked off a ball as completed-if I’d just returned from a conference, received a rejection, etc.-then the total would automatically deduct one. The Rule held that when one ball came back, another one went out within a day.

The number twenty-four still makes me twitch, Kiefer notwithstanding.

In the initial stages, the majority of the 25 consisted of contest entries and conferences, so I could learn more about craft and the industry.

As I started getting feedback and polished my manuscript, I shifted the 25 toward agent queries as well. Only when I was confident my proposal was as strong as I could possibly make it did I begin querying publishers.

The upside of the plan: I sold within a year, after pitching the book to my editor in one of those conference editor/ agent appointments. The downside: all the hard knocks on the road to publication came at me fast. Receiving more than one rejection letter in a day wasn’t uncommon, and the daunting stream of them was steady and reliable.

As I’m reading back over this, recalling all that work and travel completed in such a short period of time, I’m forced to wonder what was I smoking?? if I would do it the same way now."

Pretty cool, huh?


1 comment:

  1. I don't know about 25, but 10 would probably work! I have found that having something always on submission, always going on submission, always getting ready for submission leaves little time for worrying about refreshing my inbox or otherwise being impatient.