I have begun querying Be With Me, my novel/thesis/thing-I’ve-held-onto-for-way-too-long. Much like when I first started sending out short stories a couple years ago, I’m nervously checking and rechecking the query letter, agent’s email address, and the sample pages. I’ve received rejections…enough so that I’m re-doing my query letter and reconsidering my title. It’s okay. All the articles and posts I’ve read on querying recommend querying 80-100 agents before giving up; I’m on rejection #4. Perhaps the best advice I’ve read so far has been to query in batches of 6-8 agents. If you get few to no requests for a full or partial, it’s your query letter. Rewrite it! If you get requests for more pages but then receive rejections, it’s your pages. Rewrite them! A great resource for all things querying is Chuck Sambuchino, a writer and editor who writes the Guide to Literary Agents column for Writer’s Digest. Over the weekend, I read this article, paying close attention to letters for quiet, character-driven fiction.
The writing life is multi-faceted: for every completed project, there’s a new one to begin, and an ongoing one to work on. I’m revising a short story and researching more lit mags to send it to (6 rejections so far, but I haven’t sent it anywhere since last February). I have another flash piece that’s all exposition and in desperate need of a plot. I’m also doing research for my next novel. The first book I’m reading for that: The Secret Life of Salvador Dali.
There’s always something new to look forward to on this crazy writing journey!