Query, in which an author asks an agent to the prom

Or at least that’s what it feels like.

One time, and one time only, did I ask a guy out. It was to my prom. My on-again off-again boyfriend was off and there was no one in my school I was interested in at all. So, I screwed my courage to the sticking place and asked a college sophomore I knew through church. Remarkably he said yes.

In submitting my very first Query I had the same queasy feeling. I didn’t submit to an agent, I entered Pitch Wars. It’s a contest where you get picked by a mentor and then a second round happens where you can get picked by an agent.

The mentors are fellow authors, editors, and they donate their time. Incredible really.

After submitting I checked out the twitter feed to find that I am a moron. I have not done near enough research into my genre or publishing norms. I’m woefully ignorant. I didn’t know a novel over 120,000 words was a red flag. I didn’t know what stakes were and why they mattered.

I spent the first day just Googling all this stuff I didn’t know. I thought I was so ready and my novel rocked so hard. Um… no. I’ve got some work to do.

So the novel is going back into the garage and we’re gonna put her up on the lift and see what we can do. At 133,000 words she’s just too dang long. I’ve got some subplots that need to be nuked and some characters to tweak.

I’m so glad I entered Pitch Wars before I started the big push and sent out what probably would have been a bunch of laughable queries.  I would have been that weird kid with the bad skin you always tried to dodge to avoid hurting his feelings.  Sadness.  Of course that kid sometimes grows up to be a billionaire, but that’s about as rare as becoming a NYT bestseller so I think I’ll work on my stuff instead.

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