Finding An Agent Without Losing Your Mind — Part 3
by Writing Workshops Org Admin
A year ago
Remember me? I’m the one who’s been whine-splaining her quest to find an agent for the past twenty years.
So, as Pitch Wars prepared to close (and I was never contacted by any mentors), I channeled my self-pity back into my search for an agent. I realized, while the query letter I’d worked so hard on may have had all the right content and may have done all the right things, it was incredibly boring. And this manuscript was supposed to be a thriller. So, I decided to make my query punchier. I livened it up with the same voice as my manuscript.
It went from sentences like this, “Devin’s con-artist mother has dragged her from one crime to the next; making her an unwilling witness to a vile and depraved life,” and this, “Each offense brings her closer to her goal, but the authorities start closing in.” To lines like, “Devin has learned a lot from her mother: how to lie, how to steal, how to kill. She’s also learned to hate living on the run.” I know what you’re thinking, and sure, maybe that doesn’t sound all that different. But please, just let a girl dream, okay?
Anyway, now I was REALLY excited to send my query out. I used my pricy little Publishers Marketplace membership and researched the heck out of more agents to send this perfect, punchy query letter to. I clogged up cyber space with snippets of my masterpiece. Pitch Wars mentees were announced, and I wasn’t one of them, but who cared? I would prevail!
After a while, I started to think I really would. A very wise and wonderful agent who I’d submitted to at the end of October emailed that she wanted to read my full manuscript. Here’s the kicker: I’d sent her my older query. And, on top of that, I had submitted to her with only that query letter. No writing sample, no synopsis—nothing. And she still wanted my full!
After the clouds of joy passed, I got ready to send her my manuscript. Ya know, the same manuscript that so far no one else but me has ever read in its entirety… No pressure. No big deal. I happened to be going out of town and only had that night to prepare my submission, so I cancelled my plans and ignored my family. I ran through my masterpiece and double-checked the parts I knew had been challenging to rewrite (five times). I was okay with them. I sent it off.
A few days later, I noticed some mistakes in the manuscript. Nothing terrible, but things that might make her wonder what I was talking about. (Darn re-writes.) Okay. No big deal. Maybe she won’t care. I also learned through a Twitter stalking session that she has 50 other manuscripts to read. Okay. No big deal. I can wait.
So, maybe 2021 will be my year. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.