The Starving Novelist
Waiting is something you do a lot of when you're trying to get published.  Queries get emailed (or snail-mailed) to agents- some respond within minutes, some respond within weeks, and some have the "no-response-means-not-interested" rule, which I despise by the way- I'd rather get the four word rejection (not for me, thanks) than no rejection at all.  However, waiting to hear back from a query is nothing compared to the nail biting, obsessively checking your email, heart pounding type of anxiety that ensues after sending off a partial or full submission. 

About a month ago, I got my first request for a partial submission.  It was literally the happiest moment of my short writing career.  Not because I had six-figure visions floating in my head, but because I had actually piqued someone's interest.  The query that I had wrestled with for over two weeks must be half-way decent!  

After putting together a synopsis (which is another type of personal torture for me- I'll explain why another day) and polishing up my first three chapters, I emailed the submission package to the agent.  Then the waiting started.  Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending how you look at it), I didn't have to wait very long.  A couple of weeks later I received a very nice rejection letter telling me that even though he thought "elements of the project were appealing," the conflict wasn't substantial enough.  Now, for the part that I can only explain as divine intervention- as soon as I closed that email, there was another message from an agent requesting a full. 

Of course, the dissapointment from my rejection kept me from getting too excited about the request.  Also, after looking at some statistics on, I noticed she'd requested fulls from 90% of the queries she'd received (she's a new agent).  Needless to say, my hopes aren't that high.  Regardless, the request was enough to keep me from crying myself to sleep that night!  

Luckily, this uber agent is a speed reader (literally- self proclaimed ten pages per minute!).  According to her blog, she plans on having the majority of the manuscripts read by October 6th (TODAY!), and will start contacting writers then (with rejections AND offers of representation). 

Now, I'm not a pessimist, but I am a realist.  I'm not expecting an offer- not because I don't think my manuscript is good, but because I don't think it's what the MAJORITY of agents are looking for.  When I wrote my novel, I wrote what was in me . . . what I wanted to write- with no regard for what was "in", or what agents were looking for.  Do I think my story is good?  Yes.  Do I think there is a market for it?  Definetly.  Do I think there are agents out there that would love it?  Of course!  The problem is finding them.  

Regardless of the outcome, I am super excited and thrilled that I piqued someone's interest with my query, and that person is actually going to read my manuscript (if not all of it, at least some of it).  If nothing else, I'm hoping to gain some feedback.  As long as the criticism is constructive, I'll be okay.  However, if she tells me the writing was hopelessly terrible?  Well . . . you can't bet I'll be crying myself to sleep that night ;o)



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