Well, it’s Friday. Otherwise known as ‘rejection day’ for my inbox. Must be a day where agents clean out emails and slushpiles, because I always seem to get rejections on Fridays.
So my stats after this latest reject: 7 queries sent. 5 rejections. 1 still out in email la-la-land. And 1 request for a (hip hip hooray!) full manuscript. With my one positive response, I’m running just over a 10% success rate, which apparently puts me in the ‘normal’ querying category; some might even say ‘good.’
Honestly, the rejections haven’t broken through my thick skin (yet). I never expected every agent to say yes. I’m thrilled one did, but I know there are plenty more rejections coming to my inbox. In the meantime, I’ve made some big changes to my manuscript. I’ve added plot, and cut out cheesy writing and anything that felt excessive. I’ve completely changed the first, and last chapters. I’m toying with a title change. I’ve added a character. Increased the bad news factor for a few others. I’ve killed a few of my ‘darlings’. I’ve revamped my query, yet again. I’ve listened in on two webinars, one about writing awesome first pages (hence the first chapter changes) and one about the dreaded synopsis (which I will blog about shortly, if I survive the process).
Both the webinars came with a critique element, so my first two pages (before I revised, though) are sitting with an agent, and my synopsis is getting a critique next week. I’m also entering this query contest, where I expect (hope) to be torn to shreds. I welcome it. Otherwise, how will I learn? How will I become a better writer?
I remember an interesting convo I had on Face.book a few months ago. It was around receiving feedback on WIPs. I was amazed at how many writers didn’t want to be critiqued, or felt they weren’t ready. Bottom line? Take the feedback and make your work better. Ask to be critiqued, even if you have one page complete and you think it kind of sucks.
Because no one is born with tough skin. You have to grow the layers.