I hadn’t realized how low my writing confidence had sunk until I tried to sit down and work on the sequel to Humanity’s Hope. The words were there, but the motivation wasn’t. After handwriting a page and a half, I quit. I couldn’t find the will to write anymore.
In addition, I got responses back from the #PitDark Twitter pitch I participated in. Two people liked my Tweets—an agent’s assistant and an indie publisher. The way the process works is that if they like your Tweet, you go to their page and follow their submission instructions, which I did.
Friends, I’m going to tell you now that I did not have incredibly high hopes for my queries, especially after reading what types of stories these two places were looking for. Don’t get me wrong, they are some fantastically wonderful people and publishers, but after looking at what they normally acquire, I knew my story wasn’t going to fit into their repertoire.
The responses I got were rejections, as I expected. But they were very kind rejections. The agent’s assistant gave me some feedback on what she thought was working and what wasn’t—for her. I really appreciated her taking the time to do that, and it made me wonder if I needed to change something in the novel to get my point across.
You see, with Humanity’s Hope, the story starts out with Caleb (my main character) just getting ready for the day. Pretty mundane and possibly a bit boring. But while this is happening, he has a panic attack/flashbacks to when he was fighting zombies. The story actually opens with him waking in the middle of the night because of anxiety, but he’s not sure what triggered it.
I totally get why this can be problematic. Watching a character get ready in the morning can be boring. However, it was done on purpose. I wanted to show how Caleb is attempting to return to a normal life after going through what he went through, but it’s also a struggle because of PTSD. From there, things only get worse.
Again, maybe my point isn’t coming across the way I want it to. Maybe it needs to be more exciting and action packed. I’m not sure. The story is out with some readers, so I’ll ask them what they think and if it needs to be altered. If you’re interested in checking out the first chapter and letting me know what you think, you can find it on Wattpad.
The second rejection just said it wasn’t right for them and wished me luck in my publishing endeavors. Again, after reading the publisher’s site, I figured they would send me a rejection. I was cool with it. Such is the life of submitting.
Humanity’s Hope is pretty dark. It’s definitely not your typical zombie novel, though there is some zombie carnage. I wanted to delve into a survivor’s mind and explore how they are coping (or not) with the destruction, death, and loss. But I wanted that survivor to be troubled and having a hard time. I love my heroes such as Krista who is able to take charge and fight, but I wanted to look at it from the other perspective also. I can’t say whether or not I was successful, but I hope I am.
The best thing about Caleb being the way he is (suffering from depression, anxiety, and PTSD) is that he has a lot of room to grow. I know exactly what’s going to happen to him throughout the Saving Humanity series, and I can’t wait to write it down. I just need to find some motivation and desire first.
To help me along the way, I decided to reread some of the young adult novels that had an impact on me as a teen. I’m hoping to find some inspiration within the pages and have a chance to escape for a little while. I’ll let you know how it goes.