Sitting On A Manuscript

I find myself in a difficult and unfamiliar situation. For a lot of writers, just finishing a manuscript feels like a daunting task. I still remember how I felt when I was working on “Skin Deep.” There were times when I thought I would never get it done. Then, I finished it and suddenly, the act of completing a manuscript became the easiest part of the writing process, at least for me.

Since then, I’ve completed over a dozen manuscripts. So far, they’ve all been self-published through Lulu. Two more are in limbo with Crimson Frost right now and I have no idea when those will come out. For that reason, I do have a few that I’m basically holding in reserve. One in particular has me especially conflicted.

So far, many of the stories I’ve told have been exercises of sorts. They’ve been a way to help me learn and refine this craft that is still quite new to me, even though I’ve been writing every day for nearly two decades. Self-publishing is easy thanks to Lulu, but getting the backing of an actual publisher has proven very difficult. I’ve submitted queries for pretty much every manuscript I’ve written. To date, only Crimson Frost has responded and I’m still waiting on them to deliver. However, I’m still looking for that one opportunity that will help me turn this passion into a legitimate career.

This brings me back to the manuscript in question. It is complete. It’s been complete for over a year now. I’ve edited and refined the hell out of it to a point where I really can’t do much more with it. This manuscript is not like some of my self-published work. It’s a much longer, more detailed story than something like Jackpot. It’s also not a story that fits solely within the category of erotica. It is, more than anything else, a romance story and one that I believe appeals to modern romance readers.

Essentially, I look at this manuscript as being my most mainstream story to date. It’s a story that doesn’t require a mature audience. Young adults can enjoy it every bit as much as the elderly. It’s built around several well-developed characters, a major conflict, and a few significant twists. I really believe that this story is something that can build a franchise. I know every writer thinks that about their story, but I’ve put a great deal of effort into actually delivering.

So far, no agent or publisher has responded to my queries with this story. I haven’t given up on it though. I understand that sometimes it takes a while to get your foot in the door in this industry. My only concern is that I’ll sit on this manuscript for too long. Is there such a thing as too long? Again, I’m new to this industry so I’m not sure.

I’m not sure what I’ll end up doing with this. I still want to wait and see how things pan out with “Embers of Eros” at Crimson Frost. However, at some point I’ll have to change my approach. I’m just not sure how I’ll go about it yet. Hope I figure it out soon. I still have so many stories I want to tell.

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