query, query busy

I’ve been ignoring the blog lately, instead working on rewrites on the novel and getting a query letter ready for agents. Query. Rhymes (almost) with weary. This is the most daunting part of the process to me.

Oh, hell. It’s all daunting. But now I’m attempting to put my best foot forward and show my work to its toughest audience yet. Over the past two days I’ve sent out fifteen queries to reputable agents. Is there such a thing as a reputable agent? I mean, really? I kid, I kid. My goal for the next two days is to send my query to 30 more, at least.

Here’s the thing: I know my work is going to be rejected. It’s going to be rejected a lot. Agents have very little time to give, especially for a new author. They work through a slush pile of hundreds or thousands of queries. It’s almost a mathematical certainty that the agent will reject your work. You have to find that one — the one with whom your work resonates.

One thing that’s changed about the writing business in the several years I didn’t write any fiction: many reputable agents now accept and/or encourage e-mail queries. This makes getting your stuff to an agent a lot simpler and cheaper. It also means the author gets rejected a lot quicker. I’ve already received three rejections. Laney Becker, an agent whose profile I really liked, actually sent an extremely kind rejection letter. Maybe a form letter, but I didn’t feel like she was saying “Oh my God, who the hell let you near a keyboard, you hairless f*cking ape?” Also, she spelled my name correctly. That’s always a plus.

I do think the novel is good. It WILL find a home with an agent. I just have to be patient. But that’s much more difficult than it sounds. As humans, we want everything now, now, now! But right now what I really need to do is hone the rewrite and make sure I’ve written a compelling query. And keep plugging away.

Which is what I’m off to do.


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