So, you've finished that manuscript. It's polished, you have a killer query letter, and you're sending it out to agents. What do you do now? You start something fresh and new, that's what you do.
Around the social medias where other writers hang out, I've come across writers who say they're starting the second book of the series they haven't gotten an agent for or haven't published yet. Not only that, but they have ideas for the third book that they will write after they finish the second. Don't do this.
Why you ask? Well, that storyline may not sell and you'll have wasted your time on a story that no one wants. That is, unless you're self-publishing the series. Then, by all means, keep writing that series. For those of you who are going the traditional route and are seeking representation, write a new story. Something completely different than the one you're querying. This way you'll have something else to offer should that fantabulous manuscript you're pushing on agents fail. Some wonderful stories never make it to being published. It has nothing to do with the writing or how wonderful the story is, but because of other reasons. Like the market is saturated with that type of story or the agent doesn't feel like they can sell it. So don't waste your time by writing the same story. Start fresh. With a new story.
When I recently started a new story after sending my old one out into the world, it took some time to fall in love with the new one. I still thought about the old one, lived and breathed it. The characters felt like dear friends I was abandoning and moving away from. The characters of the new story felt like strangers to me. It wasn't until I sent out a couple of chapters to my critique partners, that I felt comfortable with the new story. Reading their comments made me look at the wonderful new story I was writing. I'm now excited about the fun characters I can create and bring to life.
In life, everything is always changing. We can't wear the same shirt. We must change into something without stains or holes. So embrace that fresh start and begin a completely new story. One day, if that old story gets an agent or published, you'll get to go back to it, visit your wonderful characters, and write that series you love.
That's it until next time.
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