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  • Kristina Elyse Butke

What to do while waiting? Write!

A person wearing an orange sweater is typing at their desk on a laptop. What to do while waiting? Write!
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

I submitted to 47 agents for Son of the Siren. That's a lot of sitting and waiting for responses to come in. Of those 47, I'm waiting on 16 to get back to me. The majority of responses have been rejections but I have gotten a couple full requests (where the agent asks to see the entire manuscript), which has made me very happy. But in the meantime, I'm antsy, so I'm taking the #1 advice given to me by many writers--while you wait, keep writing!

So this is an update post on The Name and the Key. I started working on it in October with a goal of completion by December 31st, because I thought rewriting the book would be easier than drafting it from nothing. As I work on the book, I've got the thesis bound in paperback form, so I'm literally holding the book as I write, and referencing it frequently. I thought this would make things easy!

However, I noticed that the same scenes that gave me trouble when I was drafting the book for grad school were the exact same trouble scenes for the rewrite! Plus, I'm rewriting the book pretty much from scratch after eliminating a ton of stuff from the original, only keeping the general structure and some dialogue. I've changed character names, some of the magic system, the, my initial goal got knocked way off.

I've decided to make my book deadline May 1st, 2023. This means I can write roughly under 500 words a day, which seems manageable, in order to reach my goal.

I'm almost at 10,000 words now, but I took a huge break from writing because of health stuff. But now I'm motivated to keep writing again, so I'm back to work on it. I think this is because if and when I do get an agent, I should probably have another project lined up while they work on Son of the Siren. And I want to get in the habit of finishing a book faster than two or three years, and I think to do that, I need to cultivate some sort of regular writing practice, instead of writing when the mood strikes.

I'm also going back and forth as to whether or not to make this book a trilogy. It was a standalone when it was my graduate thesis, so I could make it one again, but I was hoping, even back then, to make it three books. Book One and Book Three would be from Lily's POV, and Book Two would be a flashback from Andresh's POV. I have most of a plot in my mind for Book Two, but Book Three has only a sentence of a plot right now, and I think I need to change its title. And the thing is, if I make this a trilogy, Book One is going to end on a bit of a cliffhanger, and I don't know if that will be cool with publishers.

I sort of have a lot going through my brain about The Name and the Key and its future, but the most important thing is that I just sit down and write it. That's what I hope to do from here on out. Please wish me luck!

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