from the Korean Army to being published

the blog of an "ex-patriot" writer in Korea

Random #19: Progress, I Think

with 4 comments

I sent out three queries to agents last week, which is not a large number by any account. It’s a pretty trifling number, actually. Trifling, but more than enough to make me want to shoot myself in the face. It’s a lot more work than it would seem, and if the eventual result was just going to be flat-out rejection, the road ahead looked bleak indeed. I don’t handle rejection well. I don’t handle work well, either.

If you have ever gone to a swimming pool or the beach with me—it’s rare because I can’t swim and am a bit of a hydrophobe—you’ll know that it takes a lot of coaxing to get me into the water. Not only because I’m scared of drowning—I’ve come close at least two or three times—but because my body is also unnaturally sensitive to cold temperatures. Warmth is relative, and my warm is another man’s scalding. Unless it’s a hot tub, it’s never as warm as my friends might tell me. Instead, I take my time, starting with my toes. Splashing me, assholes, will only reset the process. I slowly submerge my body until my core gets accustomed to the temperature. Then I’ll wade around the pool for ten minutes and call it a day.

That’s what my three queries were, my toes in the pool. I didn’t send out any this week, mostly because I’ve been busy with classes starting up again but also because I haven’t received any responses to those three queries and Krystn has been advising me not to send anymore until I’m sure my manuscript is solid. Decent, maybe. Solid, if the reader is extremely generous. A masterpiece, not even close.

So when I got my first response this afternoon, I wasn’t expecting much. At most, I expected to be able to post an entry in the rejections category. I realize that the way I’ve been putting it, you might think I have good news. Think again.

Here is the email.

Please email along the first 40 pages of the ms with this query pasted to the top.


[Assistant’s name]
Agents’ Assistant

One line (and one word). The good news is that it wasn’t a one-line rejection. It has promise. My work is another story.

These past few days, I’ve taken apart my first chapter in order to reconstruct it. Now I have to hastily put it back together and send it along with my second chapter. Fuck.


Written by Young

November 4, 2010 at 4:57 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Did you hear back after you sent them the pages? I drunk wandered into that bar we went to the other night after 회식 yesterday. 4 entirely new bar tenders and there is one there I think you might like.


    November 10, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    • No, I haven’t heard anything yet. I feel like I should’ve spent a little more time with the pages since I made (regrettable) last minute changes and then sent them off right after.

      You’re talking about Hanasu, right? I don’t know whether to believe you or whether you are just trying to get me to go to your neighborhood to drink.


      November 11, 2010 at 10:43 am

      • You should believe me. Her name was Injeong. You should also come to my neighborhood to drink. But we might have to go on a Tuesday since that’s when I saw her.


        November 12, 2010 at 8:33 am

      • Injeong? Sounds sexy. Don’t know about heading all the way out there for a drink on a Tuesday night, though. Feels like a lot of effort.


        November 12, 2010 at 6:34 pm

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