Letter from Terry Brooks

The November election is over, the Prop 8 campaign is finished (and won!), I’m now a bishop, and I even got a letter from Terry Brooks right before Halloween. It has been a busy month full of unexpected surprises. But with the campaign finished, I’m almost ready to get back to work on Muirwood. Top priority is getting to know all the members of the Rocklin Third ward. It’s a big transition.

So back to the letter. I sent it several months ago and Terry was kind enough to read my synopsis of Muirwood as well as the opening chapter. I will admit that his handwriting could be mistaken for Sanskrit in places, and I am still trying to decipher it. But gist was this:

Hi Jeff,

I apologize for the lateness of this reply, but I am behind seriously in my mail. I wish it weren’t so, but the amount these days is realy overwhelming.

I read your synopsis and first chapter. I thought it was pretty good and promises and exciting story. I offer only a couple pieces of advice.

The first page of Chapter One is too much “telling”. It needs to be stronger. A little adjusting of the language should do the trick. Stick with your [???] at the weather on the night of the incident. No foreshadowing.”

Second, I would just tell you what several editors hae told me of late. In order to sell a fantasy these days, because of the number of submissions, it must really stand out. Kep that in mind as you write.

Best, Terry

So I made it through most of it unscathed, which I’m happy about. From my previous experience with him, he’s not one to pull punches and save your feelings, so I am emboldened by his reply. It has been a few months since I have looked up new agents or tried submitting, so it is time to get that going again. With the economic collapse going on right now, I imagine that publishers are going to be very picky about what they pick up.

Jeff Wheeler

Jeff Wheeler

Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over forty epic fantasy novels.

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