The Celebration Was Short-Lived

*checks calendar*

It’s August 30th. Still one day left in the month and… I finished my third draft over the weekend! *dances about*

I finished going through the hard copy Saturday, then plugged in all those notes on Sunday and ferried it through the intertubes to my friend and trusty beta reader. *waves*

(Yes, I’m going to end every paragraph with an action in asterisks.) *giggles*

I felt an amazing amount of relief Saturday evening. Adam commented that I got through this round quickly, but it’s actually been dragging on since January. So, not so fast. *does math, then realizes it’s not important*

Sunday I felt ever MORE relief when I clicked send, but then reality set it — I have to write a query letter. And a synopsis. And research agents. *sighs*

This is the part most writers seem to dread, but I’m actually excited to be here. I can’t wait to push After the Fall out into the wild and see how agents react. I’ve stepped away from most publishing blogs since I started work in April so it’s possible I missed a moratorium on women’s fiction queries, but I’m not going to let that get me down. At least not yet. *cheers*

So, is there any advice I may have missed over the past four months that you feel I should know? *waits expectantly*


33 Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Marci Dunn, Melanie Avila. Melanie Avila said: I finished my wip, but […]

  2. First up, yay on finishing the draft! *Happy dance.*

    Now, get thee to and start searching. Remember to check possibles against AW’s B&BC, too. You don’t want to end up with a crooked agent! *Waggly finger.*

    It’s nothing new or special, but my method with synopses it to write them as long as I feel they need to be, then leave ’em for an hour or two. Then I slash out anything that isn’t necessary to main plot. It usually takes me 3 or 4 passes before it’s sub 2 pages. *Reminds you to check the agents length preference.*

    As for queries, I have no clue. I’m in the same boat as you there! *Chews nails.*


    PS – So yeah, nothing new that I’ve noticed. *Action.*
    PPS – Ta for the link! *Jumps for joy.*

    • I already have an account on Agent Query. Looks like I get to start a new folder (or whatever they have there) for this novel. :)

      Yeah… the synopsis.

  3. Nope early and often seems to be the most important thing in regards to queries. I’m in that stage myself only with a memoir this time rather than a women’s fiction.

    • Good luck to you Travis! I have nothing but good thoughts for you.

  4. No pressure to your beta, eh? ;) LOL


  5. Only advice on this end: be prepared for it to happen fast. When the agents request your material, have it ready to send and don’t transpose your phone number like someone we know did. Okay, it was me.

    Check your formatting on emails before it goes out if you cut/paste it from Word; it can get a little wonky.

    In addition to agentquery, definitely check for reviews on agents, their response time, and averages on acceptances. Invaluable while you obsess!

    This IS the fun part! Enjoy it!

    • Sure, things happen fast for YOU, Miss Ooh-look-at-my-fancy-zombies, but I don’t think that’ll be the case for me. I will, however, be sure to put the correct phone number. :D

  6. Congrats, Mel! There’s lots of advice out there about querying, but only one piece that really means anything: Speak from the heart. When your query is right, you’ll know it.

  7. Sarber’sComment: When a regular comment won’t do :P

    Congrats on getting that pesky part of the job accomplished, Mel! *smiles*

    I don’t know from experience, but I think you’ll find the next part of the process exciting. It’s one step closer. One big, scary but significant step. *fingers crossed for you*

    Good luck! *sends good thoughts your way*

    • Thanks Steve!

      It IS exciting. I loved querying before, even though I only had one partial request.

  8. Ack. Adam already did *action* in asterisks. Thought I was being cutely original. *goes away, head down* ;-)

  9. Just concentrate on one step at a time… its better than not moving forward at all.

    (Hugs) You are doing awesome!

  10. *peek-at-hoo* (yeah that will never get old. I’m snickering as I type it)

    Congrats on getting the MS done!!! I don’t have any advice that Adam or Stacey didn’t beat me too. I just couldn’t resist the congrats or the peek-at-hoo (still snickering)

  11. Yay! Exciting! I haven’t seen a giant forum on women’s fiction queries for at least a couple of months. Psych!

  12. Yay for query letters! You’re going to do an awesome job with your query – I’m excited to read it!

    You’ll be at the perfect timing for querying as most agents are on vacation right now so in a few weeks is better. My fingers and toes are crossed!

    • Thanks Nadine! I’ll be sure to send that your way as sooooooon as it’s done.

      Now don’t trip!

  13. Congrats on finishing the draft!! I still have yet to finish a novel-draft of any number (oh the shame), so I’m not sure I can comprehend the happiness that sort of thing inspires. I’d suggest you not let the rest of it get you down yet. Bask in the draft-completeyness.

    Not that I really know anything, mind. I haven’t written a query ever, even. But I’d be excited about the query-go-round, too, I think. I’m actually eagerly anticipating my first personal rejection, however far-off that might be.

    …I wonder if that makes me weird?

    Again, congratulations, and I’m sure you’ll do great on the querying. Good luck.

    • Thank you! It really does feel good to actually type the end. I’ve done it three times now and it’s very satisfying. :)

      Querying IS fun. I’m very excited to get back to it.

  14. That’s AWESOME!!! ;-)

    No, seriously, it really is, LOL! I’m so excited for you, Melanie! Good luck with writing the pitch and the synopsis and query. And with the whole agent querying process!

    Natasha :-)

  15. I save my query in Word as a Rich Text File (.rtf). It usually eliminates the funky formatting that can happen when you copy and paste from a Word doc into email. But give it a trial run to make sure.

    Congrats on finishing! On with the synopsis! (It’s fun. No, really. It’s really, *really* fun. !)

    • I think I saved mine in Text Edit and eliminated all formatting, then pasted it into the email. That seemed to work. Word is a weird animal…

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