The Ups and Downs of Querying

Apr 29, 2011

I'm going to tell you a secret. I sent out my first queries for Devolutionaries back in January.

I only sent two. I'd entered a logline contest and had 2 agents request to see a query and some pages. Blissfully unaware of how totally not-ready my manuscript was, I sent it off. I did get a partial request, but in the end, I got 2 rejections. Let this be a lesson to you: DO NOT QUERY BEFORE YOUR BOOK IS READY. I kind of cringe when I think of the state Devs was in when those agents saw it.

Anyway, in the last four months, I've revised my brains out and had 2 sets of beta readers go over it. Last week, I started querying for real. You know that part in the movie Tangled, where Rapunzel is all, "This is the best day ever!" and six seconds later is like, "I'm a despicable human being!"?

That's what it feels like. One minute I'm sure my book is going to knock their socks off, and the next I'm in mega-panic mode, clawing at my screen to try to take back the sample pages I've sent. It's a little like this:




And so on and so forth. I can't decide from one minute to the next if it's awesome or if it sucks. My crit group has told me it doesn't suck, so I'm clinging to that.

So tell me, my friends, do you ever have this waffling feeling about your writing? How's your querying and/or writing going?

22 comments:

Kristine Asselin said...

I laughed when I read your first sentence about querying early. I think it's part of the process--you have to send a couple of early queries to really know how it feels. And to know how really not ready you are. So you're ready for the "real" query round. I sent two "too-early" queries as well. Got two nice rejections. And then revised my brains out. When I think about it now, my novel is about 20K words longer than it was then!

It took ten months of querying, but I signed with my agent this past March. So it WILL happen for you. Good luck--don't let the R's get you down. :)

Saumya said...

I go through this all the time!! Good luck with your querying. I think we almost worry as a defense mechanism sometimes.

Lori M. Lee said...

Good luck with querying! That's a process all of us can sympathize with. We should have a query support group lol

Teralyn Rose Pilgrim said...

I also sent out premature queries, only I sent them in mass quantities. (I won't say the number because it's embarrassing.) You're so right: it takes patience, and it's so worth the wait. Even if I got published back then, I'd rather I took the opportunity to make my book better.

Janet Johnson said...

I am SO glad I'm not the only one who does that. It's a see-saw for sure. Best of luck with your queries!

Lisa Gail Green said...

I have some bad news. It doesn't stop after you get the agent. I think writers are just bipolar. :D

Pk Hrezo said...

LOL! Love those cartoons! I go thru these phases constantly. I'm sure Lisa is right, it doesn't end once you have an agent.

nataliefaybooks said...

Looolll! This was so funny and it is soo true! I do exactly the same thing. And the switch is fast: now I love it, one second later I hate it.

As Lisa said, maybe all writers are bipolar.

Michelle Merrill said...

Aha! Shallee I loved your pictures. And I love that part of Tangled. I can totally see those same emotions going along with querying. Good luck. You're awesome.

Reece said...

I did the same thing with Penitence. I sent out a query WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too early. They asked for the first 30 pages (which I now realize were complete drivel), and promptly got a "thanks but no thanks" form rejection. But now it's about 8 billion times better! ...and I'm still afraid to send out anymore queries :(

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Ha ha ha!! So funny! I did the same thing with my first book. Queried way too early. I learned pretty quick from my mistake though. :) Good luck querying! Crossing my fingers for you!

Donna Hosie said...

LOL! Welcome to the world of querying.

And good luck!

Girl Friday said...

ROFL those drawings are hilarious. And you're right, it is just like that bit in Tangled :) Good luck, I hope this round of queries is the charm!

Kimberly said...

Been there, done that for sure.

The trick to querying is keeping yourself busy with something else.

It definitely sounds like you have something though, since in Jan. you only sent two and got two requests. :)

I'm crossing all fingers and toes for you!

Karen said...

You give Hyperbole and a Half a run for their money with these drawings. :) LOVE!

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

LOL! We totally are in the same boat! That is sooo awesome!

I hope you find representation very soon, Shallee, and all your good dreams come true. ;)

Amy

Rachael Harrie said...

Love the cartoons, very cool! Yep, it's hard resisting the urge to query too early. But at least you only sent out a couple :)

Best of luck with the (real) querying :)

Hugs,

Rach

David Powers King said...

I know that boat you speak of, Shallee, with my first attempt at querying with my first book. It didn't do very well at all. You, on the other hand, are sure to come up with a winning query. Good luck to you! :)

Jenilyn Tolley said...

I feel like this all the time! You are so not alone. :)

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Yep! Totally! And I love the illustrations. :)

Julie Musil said...

Oh my goodness, I'm sooooo pulling for you. I wish you load and loads of good luck. I know you'll be pulling your hair out, but rest assured, we know what you're going through.

I also waver between "this stinks" and "wow, I wrote that?" It must be a common writerly thing :D

Chersti Nieveen said...

I think you nailed it on the head!

 
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