Wednesday, July 4, 2012

IWSG and Query Project

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans! I often like to joke that today's Red Neck Appreciation Day (and not in a derogatory way). I've actually got quite a bit of red neck in my blood from my dad's side, and over the years I've learned to embrace it.

But joking that today is Red Neck Appreciation Day is not to take out the importance of what today means. No offense, to my British friends, because I just adore the UK, but creating a new country with new ideals and most importantly, freedom from the religion that had become so corrupt, well now that is just something to commemorate and get nostalgic about!

Today's also the Insecure Writers Support Group posting hosted by our most honorable blogfather, Alex J Cavanaugh. Click on the picture below to get to HDQ and check out the other posts. It's always a great time when we writers come together and share our hopes and fears. 


So I mentioned something about a Query Project ...

Here's where I'm at: I just finished my 6th novel length story. Actually it would be my 7th, but I don't count the first since it was an initiation to the craft. My 6th story is a YA romance called The Desiree. SO far, I've had my CP (critique partner) read through it ... and since then, I've revised it completely based on her feedback. The revised version has been through two separate beta readers, and based on their feedback, I've revised and tightened some more. Another CP is still in the process, and I have two more beta readers to send this finished revised version to for additional feedback.

Also, I might add, I won an editor's critique of the first 5k words, so that's being applied as well.

Now, I'm pretty close to being ready to query. I actually jumped the gun already and sent one out about a week ago to get a feel for it, and it was rejected. Ugh, I hate that R word.

As you may've guessed, I've been in this query game for quite awhile now. I've queried my previous stories and gotten plenty of requests, but always the same kind of answers that the agent didn't fall in love, or wasn't passionate about it, or didn't connect to the character ... or just no feedback at all. You know the routine.

At this point in the game, I'm beginning to lose faith in the entire system. Not because I think agents are out to hurt anyone's dreams, but because I'm forgetting who I'm writing for. I feel like I have to impress agents with my stories, when what I want to do is simply write for teens and entertain them with my stories. Which makes me wonder why I'm not already out there making my stories available to them.

I want to try this one last story to get an agent and traditional publisher before making the decision to go indie. And I'm turning the whole thing into a project where you get to journey along with me and see what results. Each time I've queried in the past, I get to about 5-6 rejections on fulls or partials and then I stop querying and move to a new story. In short, it deflates me into believing the story isn't good enough. But maybe I just haven't found the right agent. My problem is that I lose my mojo for the story after a few rejections.

Now if I invite you along with me to share the journey, then maybe I'll keep going and keep querying until I've exhausted my resources. And the best part is, that you, my lovely readers, get to share my success or failure and learn from the experience. (I'm super excited about that)

Next week I'll post my query and some more on this project. Then, I'll keep you updated on my progress in the sidebar. I know some say posting info on our rejections isn't wise, but if the story is good, no one will care about that anyway. This way we can prove to the writerly world together, whether or not the system works.

More deets on my Query Project later! Sorry I've been so long-winded (or should that be long-fingered?? lol) Thanks for stopping by!

Where are you on your query or publishing path? Do you think this project will be interesting or not? Anything else you want to share? Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

29 comments:

Mary said...

What a great idea, PK! Can't wait to see how things go- fingers crossed that it is good news!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

PK, it's sometimes more about the the timing. I understand the frustration of feeling like you're trying to impress an agent rather than readers. Give it another shot, query every publisher you can think of as well, and then you'll know. Because I don't see how you could prepare that manuscript any better.

Jess said...

It sounds like we're on a very similar writing journey! I'm about to query my 9th manuscript and have gotten partial or full requests on all of them. Increasingly, I've gotten personalized feedback, so that's good, but it's hard to keep querying some days. I have been doing the same thing as you--by the time I've gotten a few fulls rejected, I'm usually fairly excited about a new WIP, so I stop before I've truly exhausted my resources. And, every once in awhile, you see people out there who nab agents and get deals after querying over 100 agents on one project. Makes me think I need to be more persistent this time :)

Karen Walker said...

I think it's a wonderful idea, Pk. And by the way, I had a very similar journey, so I feel your pain and frustration. I did decide to go indie, but it's such an individual choice.
Karen

Heather M. Gardner said...

This is great. I have to finish my edits and then write my query but I'll be there soon and I know how difficult it will be. I'll be following you closely to see how things go either way and I wish you the best of luck.
Heather

DL Hammons said...

It most definitely will be interesting, and I'll be reading along. I do feel that giving up on a story too soon is a common problem, and maybe this will help shed some light on it. :)

Happy 4th!

cleemckenzie said...

Just don't give up, Pk. And it seems as if you are not doing that. Applause here. You're getting feedback, you're rewriting, and you've developed a strategy. Here's to success and a Happy July 4 along the way.

Kathryn Rose said...

Cool project! I can't wait to read The Desiree again! You definitely have to give it the chance it deserves because you have some really great characters in there and a really unique idea. Don't give up! *hugs*

Robin said...

Yay for almost being set to query book #6. Wow. I'm getting ready to query for the 1st time (with my 2nd book) and I'm so nervous to get out there and see what agents have to say (or not say) about my work. I'm glad that you're letting us come on this journey with you. I've been so impressed with all the pages I've read of yours. I have to think that for you, and for all of us, an agent is out there ready to line us up with the right publishing house. (do I sound like you did before your 1st query flew off into the world? I am naive, but I'm hopeful.
Wishing you the best of luck.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

As I self publish, I don't have a problem but I should imagine if you have to get pass publishers and others it can be soul destroying when you know what you want to write but feel you have to pease others first.

Happy fourth of July.
Yvonne.

Catherine Stine said...

Sure, why not turn it into a project. Just know that getting 5 or 6 rejections is not quite enough to toss a ms in the drawer. More like 20...

Christina Williams said...

That's what I plan to do...attempt traditional before I go indie. Best of luck to you and Happy Fourth!!

Old Kitty said...

Good luck with your writerly journey!! Where ever it takes you - it's bound to be exciting and totally amazing!!! Go for IT!!!! Take care
x

Rebecca Barrow said...

Sounds like a great project :) I am the same as you, moving on after only a few rejections because I am convinced my MS isn't good enough...but in all honesty I know that's not enough to give up. Keep querying, one hundred agents if that's what it takes!

Roger Lawrence said...

I know exactly how you feel. That's why I have four novels out and another four almost ready. I've had them for years but simply could not get any reaction from agents or publishers. They didn't say it was good, bad or indifferent. They all just ignored me.
That's why I'm self publishing.
I'm sure you'll do well.

Norma Beishir said...

Redneck Appreciation Day--there must be a big sale at Walmart for that one!

fOIS In The City said...

Always get you a day late, but never a moment too soon. I think of the Fourth and remember my dad who had the courage to travel across an ocean to give me the freedom to mouth off without fear.
Though, I think Redneck Appreciation Day is a fun concept.

I am in the process of submitting two projects under two names. I'll let you know what happens.

Don't lose your mojo for projects that get rejected, those could be the ones that turn the tide around.

Keep submitting, keep working and keep that incredible optimism. It will pay off :)

J. A. Bennett said...

I've just started to query for the first time. I still haven't heard back from most but I got my 1st partial request last week *squee* of course, I'm still trying not get my hopes up, but I'm pretty happy that I accomplished at least that much on my first try. If you decide to go indie I would love to hear about it as it's something I have considered doing myself. Good luck!

Annalisa Crawford said...

Querying can be so demoralising, but I think you've hit on the right idea - you just haven't found the right agent yet!

I've had a collection out on query for so long I almost don't count it anymore!

Suzi said...

I've written lots, but only queried one. I'm almost to the end and would've quit by now except my next isn't ready yet. As soon as it is, I will stop querying.

Cally Jackson said...

I think this is an awesome idea, PK. I'll definitely be tuning in for each post! :-)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I think you have to keep sending the queries to the traditional gatekeepers and fight the discouragement of their rejections. I like to think of indie as a further step after that, not defeat.

MTeacress said...

I've just started my querying process. It's a "little" uncomfortable, but I haven't cried yet. ;)

alexia said...

I'm querying my second book now, and haven't had any bites yet. I'd love to follow along on your query project! I hate that inevitable doubt that creeps in once the rejections start. If we can help you stick it out a bit longer, then that's a good goal!

William Kendall said...

I'm in the midst of having the book edited and beta read. I'm going the indie route.

Donna Yates said...

Congrats on getting all those stories finished! I am so way behind on mine.
I gave up the traditional route a long time ago.

Leslie S. Rose said...

I love hearing your train of thought. It is so easy to become query weary and disappointed. You hit the nail on the head when you talked about forgetting who you are writing for. It's so easy to turn pleaser. I can't wait to follow your journey on the project you are about to query. I'll break out my pixie dust for you.

jennifermhartsock said...

Ah, drat; I missed Ruth's contest! Next time!

Thank you for this list. I'm still stumbling on my first page, and it's been edited several times now.

Take care,
Jennifer

jennifermhartsock said...

I just commented on the wrong post. Whoops.