Sep. 30th, 2006

OK, my actual, possibly-realistic, self-imposed goal is to clean off my writing slate in time for November, which is National Novel Writing Month. I may or may not participate (who am I kidding? Of course I will.), but I want at least to move one project out of the In Progress queue and into the next phase.

The next phase being, of course, Submission. I have to do my research and look for some good agents. What do y'all think-- should I submit it to Tor's slushpile, given that it is, after all, of the fantasy genre? Suggestions from those of you who've done this before are thoroughly welcome. I have a query letter drafted in the finest style as suggested by Miss Snark and Kit Wossname, of course, but welcome any suggestions about that as well.

I am speaking of Barbarians_Novel, I should mention-- the current title is Protector, which I was wholly enamored of as a title until Jet Li released a movie with the same name (well, with a "the" in front of it, which I'm avoiding as Thes tend to be messy when alphabetizing etc, or at least in my organizational systems tend to be thus).

So I am asking those of you who read this to do me a quick favor, and if you are markedly disinterested, so much the better: I am going to paste in the opening few pages of the novel. I want you to comment with a simple cut-and-paste of the sentence where you stopped reading because you were bored or confused or disinterested or whatever. You don't have to explain. And for once, I'll allow unsigned anonymous comments, if that would make you feel more comfortable. I've reworked this opening as much as I know how, and would appreciate having someone throw a few rocks at it so I can look at it afresh. Mine eyes grow bored and slide down mine own page with little constructive insight, at this point.

If you should have any concrit-like comments to make, that would likewise be appreciated, but is certainly not necessary: I have a terrible history at replying to comments anyway, and I don't have time to offer reciprocal concrit anyway, my headspace being as useless as it is.

Another thing making me worry is that the more I rework it, the longer it grows-- I cut huge swathes from the middle, but the end keeps growing, fleshing itself out. It's, and I cringe to say this, 175,000 words. Is it futile to even query such a thing as a debut? I absentmindedly assumed 150,000 words was normal for a novel while I was writing it, and it wasn't until I was irrevocably committed to the new plot that I realized I was overshooting by half. Eep. Me and numbers, not so good.

But anyhow. Without further ado, the opening chapter's opening scene, last overhauled three days ago but now reread so many times the words are meaningless to me.

CHAPTER ONE: MEETING: excerpt of 4500 words )



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