I’m currently querying my third project. Every writer wants to think that their first idea, the one they initially start sending out to literary agents, is an absolute winner and that there will be a frantic scramble to snatch it up. Yes, we all think that in the beginning…
Here is my path, thus far.
Project #1: Adult science fiction dystopia
Out of 34 queries sent I received:
12 non-responses (which means the agent is passing on the project)
1 partial request (meaning they want to read a certain number of pages of the story)- but the agent passed because the project was “too easy to put down”
1 full request (meaning they want to read the entire story)- but the agent passed because “the middle sagged and I lost interest” (ouch)
Project #2: An adult contemporary suspense
Out of 97 queries (that’s too many) I received:
39 non-responses (hey, that’s even more queries than I sent for Project #1!)
1 request to pass it along to a colleague (who had already passed)
3 partial requests - with subsequent rejections
3 full requests - with subsequent rejections
This project garnered more feedback! Including:
“I really enjoyed your sample. I think you have a solid voice and this is an interesting premise, but I’m afraid I’m not seeing a strong enough vision for it.”
“I struggled to connect with the manuscript in a meaningful way“
“Unfortunately, your beginning just isn't pulling us in the way we had hoped. We felt like events may have happened too quickly in your opening pages preventing us from getting into the mindset of your main character.“
“While I really enjoyed the concept and think you have a fantastic grasp on creating distinct and lovable characters, I feel like I wanted to see the rising action for the story occur a little sooner”
“I love the smooth, smart dialogue that flows among these female characters; despite the dark premise, you've incorporated so much light and humor and personality into these conversations. This said, I found the pacing to be too slow”
“I really loved this premise, and think you're a talented writer. I felt torn about this novel overall, however, and I'm afraid I need to pass on it. For me, the novel itself ran a little too long for the type of story it is, and I would have loved to see the plot tighter and more focused”
Overall, this is fantastic, if devastating, feedback,
Which brings me to my latest news!
Project #3: YA Contemporary Suspense
So far I have sent 16 queries.
That’s right, I’m starting to query agents regarding Roadkill Kids, my first young adult story. I’ve selected agents who represent both adult and young adult books, in anticipation of working with them on future deals as well. Just because I’ve temporarily shelved my other projects, that doesn’t mean I’m giving up on them for good. They need revisions, something I’m not interested in pursuing at the moment, or it’s just not the right market for these to be released.
But that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped writing! Ooooh no. I started writing The Resurrectionists the first of the year, and finished the first draft before the end of February, at which point I began drafting and then writing my latest project, the as yet tentatively named James and Bronte’s Summer Solace.