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Author Topic: Natural Police
Denevius
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So, the novel is in its last 6 to 8 week of deliberations before this publisher decides to green-light it or not. Two months of nail biting commences today.
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Meredith
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Good luck!
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Denevius
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Thanks!
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wetwilly
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Awesome, man. Good luck.
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Denevius
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Thanks!
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Brendan
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Well done, and good luck. It's what most here hope to get to.
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Denevius
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17 years and five novels to reach this point. I suppose better late than never.

Thanks!

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History
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Ha! Hard work and persistence!
Mazel tov.

Dr. Bob

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Sylvia Frost
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Good luck!
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Denevius
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Thanks! This is week 2, in which no news is good news.
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InarticulateBabbler
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Good luck. I suggest in lieu of nail-biting you work on something new. Forget about the other and write. You'll be so far along into your next project, the news will come as if in surprise, much quicker than you would've thought, because you will won't be *waiting* on it. And, no matter what the response, you'll need to write another anyway.
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Denevius
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quote:
Forget about the other and write.
Though a rejection is possible, at the moment I'm saving up my words for the grueling work of what I suspect the editing process will be just in case I get an acceptance letter. Kind of like Goku powering up before a big fight. So yeah, no starting new projects at the moment no matter their word count.

At the same time, I've begun learning Korean, and one of the homework assignments is to write dialogs using the language you've learned. This is a fascinating process for me. Right now it's all simple, and my writings remind me of what I used to craft in spiral notepads back in elementary school. But I'm eager to see if I'll actually be able to capture some type of poetry in the language. Their sentence construction is madness, and unlike English, you can read an entire a page of writing and almost never see a pronoun. And it would still make perfect sense.

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Owasm
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You have to start something new. Once they give you a green light, you're on their time schedule, not yours. You can always set aside WIP to edit.
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Denevius
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Thanks for the advice! This is nearing the end of week 3, where no news is still good news in my opinion (knocking on wood just in case I get a rejection on Friday). Either way, in a way, I have started something new in the form of a very simple play in Korean.

가: 안녕하십니까? 누구가 입니다?
나: 안 사람. 사람 안입니다.

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Smiley
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Very nice. Congratulations on learning Korean. A wonderful language. I never learned to write it but had a year of forced immersion while serving in South Korea. I can hear the gentle jingles of jealousy in my head. [Big Grin]
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Denevius
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Haha, 반갑습니다! 네, 연세대학교에 하국말을 공부합니다. I'm taking classes at Yonsei, and it's coming along pretty well. Still quite a few mistakes, but I'm cleaning them up over time. I just wished I had opted for a English/Korean keyboard when I brought my Mac three years ago. The way I have to write it now is kind of a pain in the a**.

I'm guessing you were stationed in Itaewon? I had a friend stationed there for a couple of years before he went to Iraq. It's been a while ago now, probably ten or more years ago.

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Denevius
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Eight weeks in. I sent them a query in the sixth week to see if there was a status update, and the Acquisition Editor and Reader said they're still evaluating the novel. Hopefully that's a good sign.
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Denevius
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For those interested in the timeline of events for me regarding a traditional route to publishing, I submitted the first three chapters of NATURAL POLICE, or about 9000 words, for consideration of publication on October 1st, 2014. On January 15th, 2015, I got a relatively short email asking me to send the entire manuscript, as well as any questions I might have.

I didn't want to waste their time with a query. I was also tempted to read through the entire manuscript again in hopes of tightening the narrative further. I decided against this for a practical reason - it would have taken too long. I don't know if they would prefer me send the manuscript along immediately, or if they'd care if a week passes. But a gut feeling told me that it was best to send along the novel posthaste.

It was somewhat bad timing, honestly, because two weeks prior to this, I'd spilled coke on my Macbook, losing the *most* recent draft of the novel (as well as the hard drive). I'd had one that was last saved to Google three months prior, but I'm always making small changes to the prose, and I would have preferred the absolute most recent draft forwarded to them. Plus, I had just changed one of the central character's names, and I wasn't sure if Word had correctly 'Changed all' when I attempted to do so on the version I was sending them.

There was nothing to be done, though, and so along I sent it.

In the email, they said it would take six to eight weeks to make a decision to accept or reject the manuscript. At exactly the sixth week, February 26th, 2015, I sent them a short query asking for an update. I was hesitant about this as I didn't want them to think I was impatient, but at the same time, and after years of rejections, I know that it usually doesn't take that long for publishers to decide they don't want to publish your writing. Six weeks for no communication, in my view, seemed a professional amount of time to query them about the novel's status.

The same woman who sent me the first letter sent me a short response saying that the novel was still under review...

She added the ellipsis. At week eight, honestly, I was leaning more towards an acceptance letter over a rejection letter. I've been doing this for so long, and always before it simply seems to take little time for publishers to reject writing. They're busy, they work with minimal staff to save costs, they have other books and other authors to work with. Time is money in this business, as in all businesses, and I simply didn't see them wasting so much time on something they didn't plan on publishing.

Anyway, this was my calculus. On March 27th, I had a late night out meeting friends and drinking on a five day trip to the island where I'd lived for five years before moving to Seoul. I woke up in the afternoon slightly hungover and, as I do every morning for the past nine weeks, I immediately checked my email. I'd gotten a response from them.

NATURAL POLICE had passed the second review and has now gone on to the final editor for its final read through. That person would contact me directly with their final decision.

It's been an interesting, thought-proving nine weeks. Honestly, when I sent the novel off in early October, I simply expected a rejection, so for those three and a half months I didn't think about it at all. Now, I feel like a professional gambler who has finally come to *that* day where I've won more hands than I've lost. Dusk has fallen, evening is coming to an end, and I'm on my last hand where I can double my earnings or lose it all. My cards are better than they've even been, but until I lay it all on the table, I know I can lose as easily as I can win.

The seconds stretch on. And on, and on.

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wetwilly
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Rooting for you, man.
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Denevius
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Thanks Wetwilly. Actually, I just got the email. NATURAL POLICE sold. In the next couple of days I'm getting the contract to go over. Hopefully all of this goes well.

Thanks all who commented on the openings and chapters over the years!

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Grumpy old guy
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Well done, and congrats. Deep breath and check the heart rate.

Phil.

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wetwilly
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High five!
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Robert Nowall
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Way to go.
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Meredith
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Congratulations!
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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That is great, Denevius. Getting it actually into print is the next part of the adventure. Enjoy as much as you can.

And may there be many more such adventures for you.

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Denevius
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Thanks for the well wishes! I'll update here periodically.

Thanks again for the help in getting the narrative here!

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rabirch
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Congratulations, Denevius! That's fabulous!
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History
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Mazel tov!
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tesknota
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Congrats!! =)
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Denevius
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Thanks all!
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Robert Nowall
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By the way, you will be telling us when we can buy a copy, won't you?
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Denevius
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An initial completed edit is due in August, and I suspect they'll be another after that. I'm expecting the novel to be available to purchase late this year or early next year. But yeah, I'll drop a message here when the release date is.
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AndrewR
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Woo-hoo! Congratulations!

Don't forget to ask for free copies so you can give all of us one. [Big Grin]

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telflonmail
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Congratulations.

Sequel!

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SÚtanta
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Very inspiring!!! Is the first bit of Natural Police still on Hatrack somewhere where I can see? Or must I, like the rest of the world, wait for it to come out in print? ; ) Congratulations!
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extrinsic
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See Book Fragments, topic starter Denevius, Natural Police Chapter 1, April 5, 2013 through Chapter 21, May 5, 2014. Posts older than Last Year default can be viewed if Show All Posts is selected from a forum index page.
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Denevius
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I think the key to a professional months long edit is that if you aren't completely sick of your novel towards the end of the editing process, you and your editor have probably done something wrong.
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wetwilly
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Is "Natural Police" about to drop any time soon?
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Denevius
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Probably another two months of editing, then three to six months of typesetting, technical editing, novel design. I got an email the other day that placed an estimated physical book being available for purchase about 10 months from now. So maybe October of this year?

I've started the sequel, tentatively titled Gwi'Shin. Wrote the first 20 paged narrative that's basically world building.

These last several months haven't exactly been fun, but they have been extremely fulfilling. There's a general/genuine sense that I'm actually "doing it".

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Denevius
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I recently joined the Horror Writer's Association, hoping to get "Natural Police" nominated for the Bram Stoker's Award in 2017.

Anyone else belong to the HWA? Or other associations? I'm also working on joining the SFWA.

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Meredith
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SFWA
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extrinsic
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Associated Writers Program. The flagship publication of the organization is The Writers Chronicle. The other raison d'etre of the organization is writing program accreditation and standards advocacy. AWP hosts annual writers' conferences, too.
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Denevius
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HWA has their annual writing conference coming up, which of course I can't make. Probably will be very helpful in learning the best strategy of getting your novel nominated.

One thing I've seen the members who put their book up for nomination do is offer free PDFs or digital version of their actual completed novel to members. So far not one author hasn't done this, but it seems so risky. Once a clean copy of your novel gets online, it can really cut into your sales.

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Denevius
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I'm on the second, and I think final, round of edits for NATURAL POLICE. My editor will take another look at what I'm doing now to spotcheck any last prose issues, and I think it goes off next to get typeset, then cover image created.

I'm really hoping for an awesome cover. They can be really hit or miss, and though the old say of not judging a book by its cover is well known, obviously many people do just that. Otherwise, a saying would have never have had to have been created.

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Grumpy old guy
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Believe me, the cover art is what gets the book picked of the shelf in the first place--unless you're Stephen King, or some other such luminary.

Phil.

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