Monday, November 14, 2011


Querying is grueling--even more than I expected. In my head, I thought I could make it fun by having  a personal contest with myself as to how many rejections I rack up. Turns out, not even that can make it fun. A rejection is still a rejection.

Here's where I'm at: 19 query letters (including two I sent this summer, which was, in retrospect, WAY too early). Two requests for full. (I can't help wondering: Are they just being nice?) Five definite NOs. (All but one were form rejections). Two probable nos (given that their posted response time has come and gone). A bunch of who-knows? Any more, given the ease of electronic submissions, many agents are so deluged by queries that they simply don't respond if they're not interested.

I've also decided to stop querying, for now. I got some good feedback from a writer friend that I need to think about and figure out how to implement to make the story better. Once I've finished that, I might consider querying again.

However, today has been one of those mornings. Even though my friend's feedback was overall positive on the concept and writing, her suggestions for the characters have temporarily floored me. I'm not sure how to increase the voice in my story. I thought I was already doing that.

Sometimes it's daunting to me to see the gap between where I want to be and where I'm at. When I used to have artistic pretentions, it was easy for me to look at my picture and see the gap between what was in my head and what was on paper. It's much harder for me to "see" that gap with writing--it's more of an intuitive thing. And it's a bit galling (and frightening) to figure out that after all these years of playing with words, I *still* don't know what I'm doing.

On the other hand, I can only get better with practice. Right? Right? (Sometimes I wonder).

In any case, I'm not quite ready to give up. But I am starting to feel that vast wasteland of writer's despair that only chocolate can assuage . . . Good thing DH bought those chocolate pretzels this weekend.


  1. Wait, aren't the two requests for full a really good thing? (The only things I know about the process I've read from you, but I thought that meant good things...?)

  2. Jana, yes, they're good things--but sometimes it's hard to get past what feels like an overwhelming negative response! (Also, I'm realizing that there are deeper issues with the story than I'd realized).

  3. Gave you an award on my blog. Swing over to get it when you have a chance.