I hate waiting. The anticipation and anxiety of not knowing what is going to happen stresses me out. Unfortunately waiting is a part of the process when you submit your work to literary agents. Well, unless they are the ones who get back with you immediately after you submit your query, in which case you know they had an automatic rejection letter that went out, and they didn’t even look at your work.
I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on the automatic rejections. I know these agents receive hundreds of proposals weekly, and at least I have a response right away. I’m not sitting on the couch twiddling my thumbs and wondering what’s going on with those particular proposals.
If you have followed my blog, you know my first manuscript is intitled Always and Forever. I’ve worked on it off and on for about 10 years. Like many of you, I poured my heart into it, got my first round of rejections, and pushed it to the side for a while opting to work on something else.
After I got past the sting of the initial rejections, I took classes and read books on how to write fiction novels. I joined a critique group and heard from objective readers just what they thought of my work – what was working and what wasn’t. Something I should have started out with.
I spent another year or so revising and revising again trying to find the perfect balance. Once I was comfortable with my manuscript, I sent it out a second time, only to receive total and complete rejection. Needless to say, the work was shelved.
Throughout this process, I did have one agent to take the time to tell me why my work was rejected. While the premise was a good one, it wasn’t ready. She pointed out the head hopping, dragging dialogue, and numerous structural and grammatical errors that the agents couldn’t see past. While I was able to resolve the issue with head hopping and work on the dialogue, I’m not an editor. My friend’s aren’t either by the way. It’s not fair or realistic to expect your friends and family to read your manuscript and identify all the issues. Unless of course, they are editors.
Maybe your work isn’t as ready as you think it is. I finally hired that editor. She wasn’t cheap, but we came up with a plan that I could live with.
I just sent out proposals again and have received my first request for the full manuscript. I will keep you posted 🙂