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Belle_91
10-09-2009, 08:46 PM
So I've sent out 38 queries. Of those queries 14 have gotten a response saying that the agency is rejecting it, and one got a request for a full (but they later ended up rejecting it). It gets a little tiring after a while hearing all of these rejections and I wonder if my story is good enough. Is this typical for a new/unpublished writer, or should I maybe try a different approach. Does my writing suck?

Belle_91
10-09-2009, 08:48 PM
When an agent looks at the requested manuscript (Alot of the agencies I have queried to say that they want like the first five pages or something) what turns them off?

Bushdoctor
10-09-2009, 08:48 PM
Its all part of the Job. I am pitching a manuscript at the moment
I have sent 100 queries.

20 rejections
2 partials

78 to go. Trust me a request for a full is success in itself

Bushdoctor
10-09-2009, 08:48 PM
Is it a first draft you are pushing or its a polished script?

Belle_91
10-09-2009, 08:50 PM
I think its polished-I dont quite understand what the term means, sorry I'm such a newb when it comes to this

Bushdoctor
10-09-2009, 08:52 PM
1st draft is usually the stuff you type up and run overwith spell checker - Trust me its usually full of errors that you dont see straight away.

Have you printed it out, set it aside for a week or more, come back to it with fresh eyes, edited it somemore, given it to a neutral reader and then worked on it a bit more?

Belle_91
10-09-2009, 08:54 PM
um a little bit. I just did that with the first couple of pages. I've got to admit that my grammer/sentence structure is not that great. Like I know how to write a really good sentence but I dont know where to put the commas and such if you get my drift.

Bushdoctor
10-09-2009, 09:01 PM
That is my main problem as well. I've heard that most agents want a work that has few errors as there is less work for them at the editing stage which saves them time so they can sell the work. The best thing to do is to try and get some one else to read it who will give you an honest opinion (family and friends need not apply).
Options:
1) Join a writers group
2) Do a writing course ( that way you can use the teachers and fellow students as a resource)
3) Use a reputable Literary consultant (it is expensive but you get a valuable critique of the work)

Trust me though I have over 300 rejections so a request for a full manuscript after 38 rejections is not so bad. Keep going!

suki
10-09-2009, 09:29 PM
So I've sent out 38 queries. Of those queries 14 have gotten a response saying that the agency is rejecting it, and one got a request for a full (but they later ended up rejecting it). It gets a little tiring after a while hearing all of these rejections and I wonder if my story is good enough. Is this typical for a new/unpublished writer, or should I maybe try a different approach. Does my writing suck?

History-gal, I see you are young, and you have said in your posts that you haven't carefully revised your manuscript, and you aren't really sure of your punctuation and sentence structure. So...

1. You're going to hate this, but stop querying agents. Until your manuscript has been read by other knowledgable writers (beta readers, a crit group, SYW, etc.) and then carefully and thoroughly revised, maybe several times, it is not ready to be sent to agents. You are only burning possible agents by querying them before the book is ready. So, stop until the book is actually ready.

2. Find some readers for your work - preferably other writers of more experience than you. Find a critique group or some beta readers - head over to the beta readers forum and see if anyone wants to trade manuscripts with you. Or start posting your book in 1,500-word excerpts, starting from the beginning of the book, in the approrpiate SYW forum - historical, young adult, etc. Get some critique of your book.

3. Find a good book on grammar and punctuation. Read it. Study it. There are also good onlide writing guides put out by college and university writing centers. Study them.

4. Find some books on writing fiction - I am a big fan of:
Self-editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne and Dave King
The First Five Pages, by Noah Lukeman [this one especially will help you see if you are making the kinds of mistakes that keep agents and editors from reading on]
Novel Metamorphosis, by Darcy Pattison

5. Revise, Revise, Revise, based on beta reader and SYW critiques, and based on what you have learned through your own reading.

THEN, only after you have revised and proofread, and it's as good as you can make it, should you query agents.

It's not an easy process, but if you send out queries or manuscripts before the manuscript is really ready to be queried, you are not only wasting your time, but you are also possibly burning an agent who might be interested in the manuscript once you have actually revised and worked it until it is ready.

good luck.

~suki

Red-Green
10-09-2009, 10:53 PM
Yup. What Suki said. Essentially, by the time you start sending queries, you want your manuscript to be as polished as just about any book you'd pick up in a bookstore. Maybe even more polished than some of those. :D And those first five pages need to be not just perfect, but they need to grab the agent by the throat and hold on.

Puma
10-11-2009, 02:49 AM
Hi History Gal - Since I've read a couple of your posts in the Historical SYW forum, I can say - you're no where near ready to query agents. Your writing is not bad, but it's not polished and in places it clunks. It also shows your youth and inexperience. Your writing can be something very worthwhile, but you're going to have to invest some effort in learning how to write in a more marketable fashion - and that takes time. Please listen to the advice of the people here and don't send out any more queries. All that's accomplishing is burning your chances for having those agents. Make your writing the absolute best it can be (with the help of SYW, rewrites, and betas) and then - start querying again.

And just so you know, it's not unusual for a writer to go through fifteen reads and edits before he or she feels the manuscript is good enough to query. Puma

firedrake
10-11-2009, 02:56 AM
Hi History Gal - Since I've read a couple of your posts in the Historical SYW forum, I can say - you're no where near ready to query agents. Your writing is not bad, but it's not polished and in places it clunks. It also shows your youth and inexperience. Your writing can be something very worthwhile, but you're going to have to invest some effort in learning how to write in a more marketable fashion - and that takes time. Please listen to the advice of the people here and don't send out any more queries. All that's accomplishing is burning your chances for having those agents. Make your writing the absolute best it can be (with the help of SYW, rewrites, and betas) and then - start querying again.

And just so you know, it's not unusual for a writer to go through fifteen reads and edits before he or she feels the manuscript is good enough to query. Puma

What Puma said.

Justin91
10-11-2009, 04:52 AM
A lot of great advice from everyone here history girl! Do not get discouraged and down...this is just the scrapes and bruises of becoming a writer.:)

Bushdoctor
10-16-2009, 03:59 PM
on the upside i have recieved a request for a full exclusive by an agent.

perseverence pays.

cross your fingers for me everyone

KTC
10-16-2009, 04:01 PM
So I've sent out 38 queries. Of those queries 14 have gotten a response saying that the agency is rejecting it, and one got a request for a full (but they later ended up rejecting it). It gets a little tiring after a while hearing all of these rejections and I wonder if my story is good enough. Is this typical for a new/unpublished writer, or should I maybe try a different approach. Does my writing suck?

Sorry to hear your news. If it makes you feel any better (I'm sure it won't) I'm sitting at almost 100 rejections. Some rejections on query. Some rejections on partials. 4 of them on fulls. Some never to hear from---assumed rejections. It is disheartening. Just keep the faith. Just keep on sending.

GOOD LUCK.

Arkie
10-26-2009, 05:27 AM
Even the legends suffered rejection. Look at this query and rejection from 1927. (From William Faulkner, The Man and Artist, by Stephen B. Oates, Harper and Row, Publishers, Inc., 1987)

When Faulkner sent "Flags in the Dust," to the New York publishing house, Boni and Liveright, he wrote: "I have written THE book, of which those other things were but foals. I believe it is the damdest best book you'll look at this year."

But alas, comes Liveright's rejection: "It is with sorrow in my heart that I write to tell you that three of us have read Flags in the Dust and don't believe that Boni and Liveright should publish it. We don't believe that you should offer it for publication...we're frankly very much disappointed in it...we think it lacks plot, dimension and projection. The story really doesn't get anywhere and has a thousand loose ends."

Phaeal
10-28-2009, 09:18 PM
Another "What suki said." Ringo was right: Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues.

And, yup, it don't come easy.

scarletpeaches
10-28-2009, 09:20 PM
This is a good thing, though. Once you know what can be fixed, then...well, you can fix it.

If your writing isn't the best it can be, you can console yourself with knowing what needs to be done in a "It's not the story, it's my writing," kinda way.

sheadakota
10-28-2009, 09:43 PM
You have been given excellent advice here-This isn't an easy gig- but if it is what you want it is worth the price of admission- Just so you can judge a timeframe-

I wrote the novel in my avi in 2005- I have rewritten it 10 times completely since then- it has been read by no less than three beta readers (completely) revised- edited-workshopped (on password protected sites)- My query alone took almost two months to write and polish- I had three different ones to chose from- then another month at least on the synopsis- I had a one, three and five page synopsis ready depending on what an agent might want-

Even with all of that I sent Out a total of 155 query letters got thirty requests for partials and fifteen of those turned into full requests- even with all of that i decided to go with an independant small press.

So from writing word one to being accepted for publication = 4 years.
perserverance is the name of the game.

Bushdoctor
11-03-2009, 01:59 PM
What ever happened to overnight success?