Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Revision Update and Agent Fears

Here I am, hip deep in my out loud revision pass and getting on to some much cleaner chapters. There are a number of pitch contests and (self-imposed) deadlines coming up this month that I hope to have CROW'S BLOOD ready for. I'm still on schedule for my goal of querying agents by the end of the month.

I'm going to update the progress bar on the right to reflect how far through this pass I am. It'll be a rough estimate, but it'll do.

Querying is something that absolutely terrifies me. I find the whole idea somewhat paralyzing.

The problem stems from Twitter. You see, I started tracking Agents down via Twitter (which is an awesome resource for writers to get to know other people in the industry) and following them.

In the course of following them I've connected with quite a few. Some to the point where I greatly value their connection beyond an Aspiring Writer<=>Agent connection. Those connections have gone on to the point where I'd like to hang out with these people even if they weren't a potential resource for my writing career.

Our personalities seem to mesh, and damn it, I like their style! It also helps that they're all great at their jobs and know what they're doing enough to freely give help to the community. It's because I like these people and value them so much, they're exactly the agents I want to query. They're people I think I can work with.

That's where the problem comes in.  I'm afraid to query them! What if they don't like what I send them? What if they find out I'm a hack who takes 5 revisions before his story even resembles a cohesive mess? What if they don't like me any more? How will I face them on Twitter or at Cons if I reveal so much of myself to them through my writing? What if I, in all my awesome horribleness, am the "writer" that makes them close their "please submit your next work" door, or even quit Agenting (I know it's not a word!) altogether?

I picture cabals of agents I adore getting together for a good maniacal laugh over a brandy in a NYC bar while scribbling all over my book in red marker.


Breathe damn it.

I've considered only submitting to contests, which, while entertaining, and a great way to meet other writers and agents, still doesn't necessarily get me working with the agents on my top 10 list (yes, I have one).  I've actually considered querying agents I don't know... Just so I won't potentially damage the pseudo-relationships I have with the agents I like... How broken is that?

The other pitfall of this neuroses I'm developing is endless revision. When will I ever consider something "good enough" to send to the agents I like? How do I let go? What if I let go too soon?

To you other writers that read my ramblings, have you gone through the same things? I sometimes wish I'd started writing before the internet made connecting with people so far away so easy.


  1. When I sent my first query, I was a total nitwit. I knew NOBODY, had never heard of a CP, and thought twitter was for sharing what you had for lunch. You are about 73 steps ahead of where I was. So, BREATHE! :D

    When you get ready to query, and you're pretty sure your query and pages are as good as you can make them (or at least's your PRETTY SURE they're good to go, you'll never be 100% confident in them), Send them in batches of about 5-10 at a time. Send one or two of them to your TOP TEN list, and the rest to other agents. Don't blow through your list of dream agents on the first go around. Use your responses to gauge how your query is working for you. Then tweak as necessary, and repeat.

    Trust me, after a few rounds, it sort of becomes blase. Blase with a pinch of pure terror, but really, not so bad. :D

    1. I was considering entering Pitch Madness (have my pitches and everything ready to go), more as a method of connecting with more potential CPs and dipping my toes in the "query" waters.

      Of course, as of today, 3 of my top 10 agents are now involved in Pitch Madness! So I'm considering hiding under a rock til it's all over. At the same time, I'm tempted to just do it and stop being such a chicken >.<