Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Patience sometimes is your friend

Tip of the Day: strawberry smoothies make for a great summer writing break treat!

Previously on the blog, I’ve tackled the question of determining when your manuscript is ready to be queried to agents.

Even though I have several more gray hairs since that post, I’m not entirely sure I have any better answers. But because I’m to this stage in my writing career again, I’ve been thinking about this a lot.

Right now, in a tough market, I think more than ever you have to make sure your project is as best as it can possibly be before sending it to agents and editors. Over on the Teen Lit Authors Yahoo Group there’s been a discussion going on about how many published authors are being advised to write full manuscripts for editors, instead of selling on partial. The thought is unless you have an established relationship with an editor or are a big-named author, then it’s much harder to sell right now and editors are requesting full, cleaner manuscripts.

As a debut author, you don’t have to worry about the full/partial debate, since it’s highly unlikely you’d sell on a partial (unless you have a lot of writing creds). But if published authors are struggling more than normal, then debut authors have even more of a mountain to travel over to publication.

With that being said, before you submit to agents, it’s probably best to take a double look, then a triple check just to make sure you have no unanswered questions. Also, keep an eye out for anything (even something small) that feels a little off, either with a character, the setting, plot, etc. And you also need to make sure that the plotting and character growth makes perfect sense. Because if you have a nagging feeling about one small part of your manuscript, then editors and agents are probably going to be even more confused.

Because in this tough market, it doesn’t hurt to give yourself all the legs-up you can get :)

--Emily, Miss Querylicious

Image from: http://www.gadgetcage.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/editing2600.jpg


Lisa Schroeder said...

Those nagging feelings are so strange aren't they. Why, again and again, do we ignore them, when we know, ultimately, they mean something? I'm still not good at making myself stop and rework it when I have that little nag in the pit of my stomach.

But you're right - it is REALLY competitive out there right now and taking the time to go through the MS and make sure it's the best it can be is going to serve you best.

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