I haven’t blogged in a while and it’s because I’ve been trying to keep busy while waiting. The endless waiting for query responses.
It’s a funny thing, when you deliberately try to distract your brain with tedious tasks and activities to prevent yourself from thinking of the one thing that always lingers in the back of your mind. When will I hear back from agents? Will any of them like what I’ve written?
I wrote a little while ago about receiving my first rejection. I’m devastated happy to announce that I’ve received several more. Since sending out queries just over 2 months ago, I have received seven rejections, including the full manuscript request I mentioned in the previous post. That one hurt the most. At least I got a bit of personalized feedback on that one, but it was still hard to have my hopes dashed. I guess I thought that the rejections from the others were less harsh because maybe they only read my query (or didn’t even make it through my query). After all, if they didn’t read a good portion of my book, they wouldn’t be able to form a concrete opinion of it, right?
I haven’t given up hope yet. I entered a contest and won a query critique from a real, live agent! Her feedback was really helpful, and was just the motivating nudge I needed to keep going. I revamped my query in preparation for another round of submissions. I also put my manuscript on a diet. Apparently, the ideal word count for YA novels ranges from 60,000-80,000. My original word count was 95,500, and it’s currently 86,500. It was hard to shave off that much. I keep thinking the scenes I removed will make great bonus scenes for once I’m published (wishful thinking). I feel better about the range I’m in now. Maybe the high word count was a deterrant for agents.
While I’m happy to send out more queries and await agents’ responses, I’m at a bit of a standstill for what’s next. Should I wait to hear back before starting the sequel? Maybe I’ll just start outlining it. I’ve been toying around with a totally different novel; I may want to explore that. The only problem is that it’s summer vacation and having 3 kids at home all day is pretty rough on my writing career. I’ll let you know what I decide!