Monday, November 21, 2011

Query Survival Kit

I have reached the Summit of Blues. For those who have been there, it's a mountain deep in the Wilderness of Agent Seeking.

I'm not depressed, but I am feeling this: ugh.  I need more energy, more caffeine, more pep talks, more something to get me through another round of queries.  I am fortunate that two of my manuscripts are in the hands of agents who requested Fulls, but it's been a while, and the more time passes, the more I feel grim. I figure I need Russell, from the brilliant film Up, to visit me.

He has a Wilderness Survival Guide that might help me during this Agent Query search.

How to Build a Tent. 
Or, How to Survive the Query Process
Step 1:  Separate Tent Parts.  
Or, Separate your self worth from your manuscript.
(That's harder than it looks.)
Step 2: Follow Directions Carefully.  Or,
Research the heck out of agents, fall in love with agent, craft a specific letter to agent, get rejection from agent on pitch alone, sigh, and repeat from beginning of Step 2
Step 3: Never Force Anything.  Or,
Realize that agents have specific ideas about what will be a success in the market--or desirable to publishers--and your manuscript might not "fit" those ideas. Truth be told, they're forced to judge a book by its cover (pitch), right?  

So take a deep breath, and just say it: "Tents are hard."
Rejections are hard.
But look at Russell's face.  All red-whipped, and he's still not giving up completely.

Getting rejections is an important part of becoming a better writer and determining how much I believe in what I'm doing.  Even published authors get rejections. (Yep, there are many of us. I'm not alone.)

Now, it's back to work.  I've got a tent to build.

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