On Writing

Not Query Time

There’s a lot of do’s and don’ts when it comes to sending a query to an agent, and I mean a lot.
The most important thing I’ve learned is sending a query before you’re ready to query.
What does that mean?
It means is your novel as edited and tight as it should be?
Are all the typos, errors, incomplete sentences, thoughts, etc gone?
Are your character timelines solid and do the happen in the order they are suppose to?
I could go on and on, but mostly, I follow the first question. Is the novel as clean, edited, and tight as it should be? Does it reflect what I want to be as a writer? Am I happy with it?
I wish I had done a little more research when I wrote The Dumbing Down of Love. I wish I had edited more. I wish I hadn’t queried agents with that project at all.
Why? 30 plus rejection letters. Mostly forms, some no response at all, and only 2 positive rejections that said it was well written and salable. Hindsight being twenty/twenty, I know now it wasn’t ready for queries. I was happy with the novel but it didn’t define me. Hell, I was just happy to have it finished and off my plate. I liked the novel, but did I love it? No. Writing a query for that novel was torture and it shouldn’t be. Writing a query should not make me feel sick to my stomach and it shouldn’t make me wish to stick hot pokers in my eyes.
Now that Barfly is complete and round one of edits are done, I know it’s still not query time. I know this for one reason only, I can’t sum up what the book is about. If I can’t sum it up, then how in the hell is an agent suppose to sell it? I know what it’s about, I wrote it, but a friend asked me, what is it about? All I could answer was love. What kind of craptastic answer was that? Love? Really? Sadly, that’s all I could come up with after I wrote 68,000 words in the novel.
So as the second round of edits begin later this week, I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll query agents with this novel at all. I do love the novel. I love the characters and I love the emotions it has evoked in me and my beta readers. I’m more confident in this novel than with The Dumbing Down of Love, but it’s still not time to send a query out for it.
When I can answer the question, what is your novel about and then I know it’s ready.
As for my new WIP, if you ask me what my novel is about, I can answer the question, but it’s still not time to send queries out about it. That reason is that it’s not finished. When it’s finished, edited, clean of errors, and I’m so happy with it I could run through fields of clover singing, then I’ll send a query out for it.
As for now, it’s not query time…
Listening to “It’s Your Touch” by The Black Ghosts

Categories: On Writing

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