Thursday, November 19, 2009

WIP Wednesday: Uh, It's Thursday

I know, I know, it's not Wednesday, but I haven't written one of these posts in so long, and I finally have something to share.

For the last few weeks I've been tinkering with my eighth draft of V-Day. My writing group read it and critiqued it. I pressed and polished it.

Now I'm querying it.

It took me a couple weeks to get up the guts to jump into the querying process again. Probably just nerves. Probably that feeling I get, the twisting in my stomach -- "Ugh, I hate form rejection letters." Something akin to going to the dentist or getting a mammogram. You know you need to do it, but it doesn't make it ... fun.

Then I read this post by highly esteemed literary agent Janet Reid on How to get no more rejections, ever.

Her post was the dose of reality I needed to jump back on the query train. That, and an email conversation with my writing-friend Florence about how her queries were going. Florence is absolutely fearless when it comes to querying, and I realized my attitude needed to be more like hers. Not cringing, hiding, gnawing the insides of my cheeks -- but actually getting out there and doing something. Putting myself out there again.

Now, just a bit of history. With my last (first) book, I queried approximately 17 agents and got 16 rejections and one request for a partial. That request for a partial was for the very last query I sent out. It was encouraging to get a request for a partial for that book, but I think I'd already accepted the fact that there were problems with that story that no amount of editing (short of rewriting the entire book and changing the main character's personality) could help.

After I received the rejection for the partial, I decided to shelve the book. I was already almost done with the first draft of V-Day; it was so nice to have another project on the burner to distract me.

So here I am, back in Query Land, this time with a whole new project.

I felt a tangible increase in comfort-level as I emailed my queries. Last time, it took me weeks to send out one or two. This time, I didn't feel so anal. I made my short-list of dream agents using Querytracker (invaluable tool!) and sent out all my queries over the course of a couple nights.

The next evening there was an email from one of the agents in my inbox with a request for a partial.

I'm ecstatic about that. Not because I'm jumping way ahead in my brain to the day V-Day will be published. No. I keep reminding myself that this is a journey and I still have a lot more books in me. V-Day is great, wonderful, exciting (in my humble, definitely-not-biased opinion), but it may not be the one that makes it to the bookshelves in Barnes and Noble. Only time will tell.

The encouraging thing is, I'm making progress. I'm taking baby steps in the right direction. That's the exciting part.

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