Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I want to query I want to query I want to query NOWWWWWW

In a previous post, I talked about how I felt like I could go on tinkering with my current WIP forever, but there are some days (today) when I just want to be done.

I can see the end. After one more round of revisions, I’ll have to read it through at least once again for editing purposes, but then I should really be done. And then, I will be able to send queries off to the agents I’ve been researching, develop a nail-biting habit while I wait for rejections, and open a beautiful new blank page for Book 2 or Project New or whatever the heck I want.  

My goal is to start querying before Christmas, but on days like this, I can’t wait! I want to query NOW. I want it to be Christmas NOW. I want hot cocoa and snowmen and Christmas carols NOW. I digress… Querying. I wish I were already querying.

On days like these, I need to remind myself of a few things:

1. It’s not ready yet. This is a problem for two reasons. First, I don’t want to mess up my chances of getting an agent if there are problems in my manuscript that I already know I should fix. That would just be silly. Second, deep down I know I want something even more than the immediate gratification of sending queries and getting this WIP off my back: I want to do justice to the story. I want to do my best, and that can’t happen overnight.

2. Beta Readers+CP’s=GOLD. I’ve only had a few people give me feedback so far, and it has been extremely rewarding. I would be cheating myself and (again) not doing justice to the story if I stopped progressing without taking advantage of the valuable feedback of others.

3. Querying is irreversible. Perhaps this states it a little too harshly, but by sending a query to an agent you’re telling them you have a finished manuscript ready to hand over. You can’t say, “I just decided I need to change something, so can you wait a few months?” That is an excellent way to ruin your chances with an agent. In most cases, they don’t want you to query for the same project twice.

4. Perspective. Compared to the span of my entire life, a couple months is very, very short. (I hope. Oh goodness, I hope.) I should be able to endure a few more months of perfecting my manuscript for the sake of increasing my chances of long-term success.

5. And once again: It's not ready yet.

So, impatient as I am, I’m going to stick with it until I make this novel shine.


  1. Have you written your query letter? That can be one of the hardest parts of the process. If you haven't, I seriously recommend you spend some time with QueryShark (queryshark.blogspot.com). And while it's true agents generally don't like you to re-query the same project, some will permit this if the query and/or manuscript have undergone major revisions.

    All the best to you!

  2. Thank you, Colin! I've spent quite a lot of time on my query letter and have gotten some positive feedback. I'm sure I'll have to revisit it before I actually start querying, however. QueryShark has been excellent, and the query critique forums at WriteOnCon were also a huge help. And haha yes, I re-wrote the line about agents not wanting you to query a project twice several times--I didn't mean it as a blanket statement. But I understand that it is a sticky situation and I don't want to go there if I can help it. :)

  3. All of this is so true! I know exactly how you feel. I've sent out a couple of queries, but only a few at a time. It's been a long time since I have because I really want it to be perfect. But there are definitely days when I just want to be done!

    Good luck! I'm enjoying your story so far! :)