Monday, November 21, 2011

Query Hell

I've done this before, so I should remember how LOUSY, how draining, how FUTILE it feels to send queries to agents -- but I forgot. Or I somehow thought I'd grown stronger armor.

So. My stats so far:

4 email queries +
1 meet-agent-at-a-conference pitch ==> 1 full request + 2 rejects + 2 outstandings

Until today. A dark and stormy night, but the garbage needed to taken out and the mail to needed to be fetched. There, fluttering in the wind, 'The Letter'. Good news from agents does not come in the mail, it comes by phone. So.

A pass on the full.

So. The agent had complementary things to say, as well as one weakness which, perhaps, is fixable. I am not so wed to my story as it is told and, in fact, had considered taking away one of my two narrators.

And perhaps I will. Just as I might (maybe) repackage the entire novel as a YA story, age down my protag and make him a brilliant 16 year-old at Harvard, turn my medical student into a naive pre-med undergrad. As another agent three years suggested.

The beauty of writing is that there is no one RIGHT way; instead, the possibilities of telling a story remain infinitely boundless. And despite the low pay (hey, I DID earn $25 bucks for a short story), I guess I should feel fortunate I will always have a job rewriting this blasted novel.


There is a bottle of white chilling in the fridge. Off to ponder those possibilities.



  1. So.
    How are you feeling about the novel today?
    How is the pondering?
    This querying stuff just sets my stomach rolling. You must fill me in on the details some day. You know, because I want my stomach to roll, too.

  2. Dear Cathy, always there to lift my spirits!

    I still love my story, and will try to find it a home with both narrators intact. I think this agent has wise knowledge, though, and maybe, just maybe, if all my querying attempts to agents and publishers fail, I may rewrite in Ben's POV only. After all, that is how the story was originally written.

    However, I will definitely take another look to see if there are Phoebe scenes I can cut or, at the least, shorten.

    The good news is querying season is over for now. I'll head back into the fray mid-January, with agents and, perhaps, a slightly different story, to market.

    Keep going on yours, girl. Peace...

  3. Such a series of hurtles this writing business is. First you bleed all over the page in an absolute marathon. Then you face the query/rejection runaround. Argh. Best of luck in January. You're such a good writer - it just will take finding someone who realizes that. Stay strong and BELIEVE.