Saturday, October 6, 2012

Getting an Agent


Almost every week I receive a letter from an aspiring author asking for advice on how to get an agent. My best advice is to have a finished manuscript. Not a first draft. Not a second draft. Not third or fourth—but a well constructed and edited manuscript.

I’ve had writers send me copies of their query letters asking for suggestions.  After reading them I’ve thought…wow… these are great letters. Why were they rejected? Then I read samples of the manuscripts and I understand why they were rejected. The characters are often underdeveloped, the plot sags, grammatical errors.  

I often wonder—why do some writers get into such a terrible rush? My advice is to savor your story, perfect it, and then submit it.
Here is something to keep in mind....

A few years ago I did temp work at a retail store. The owner of the store was a very impatient, stressed out man. He wanted to build a huge empire overnight. One day he came into work with a new tie. Featured on the tie was a picture of ancient Rome. Apparently his wife bought him the tie as a reminder that…Rome wasn’t built in a day.

I believe the same could be said for writing and publication. Take your time, it will help to ensure a stronger manuscript and a better chance at publication.

Happy writing!

Angela

 Come visit my blog :)

24 comments:

  1. Thanks Linda! Have a wonderful weekend :)

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  2. Nice article, thanks for the information.

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  3. Rome wasn't built in a day--what a great reminder!

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  4. Thanks for that. Sometimes we all need that reminder.

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  5. Excellent advise. I've given myself 10 years to break into the business. Hopefully that's enough time! Crafting and improving my writing are of course ever constant.

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    1. Thank you Robin! Good for you for working so hard on your publishing goals :)

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  6. This post could not have come at a better time for me. I was literally just sitting over my manuscript, worrying that I'm taking too long to revise it and feeling discouraged because some other writers seem to get to the query stage so much faster. Thank you for reminding me that I'm (as far as I can tell...) doing the right thing.

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    1. I'm so glad this post was helpful Susan. Keep up the hard work! Good luck! :)

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  7. Ha, I love the tie anecdote! I think I might need one of those.

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    1. LOL Kelly! We are all impatient at times!

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  8. I couldn't agree more. I've been revising my two novels for over three years and one is finally where it needs to be. The other ... at least one or two more revises, You are so right Angela ... Rome WASN't built in a day.

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    1. Thanks Michael:) Good luck with your revisions!

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  9. There's also a tendency for writers to workshop their queries to the death (along with the first 250 words of their manuscript). What results is a pitch-perfect pitch, and a great opening. The rest? Apparently, not so much. Great advice.

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    1. Hi Jeff!
      So true. Thanks for stopping by and have a great Sunday. :)

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  10. Great advice. I am one that is always tempted to send too soon. I get all excited and have to remind myself to slow down!

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  11. Hi Rachel, I think we all do this. Its so hard to wait or put it away. :)Good luck with your writing :)

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  12. Sooo true, Angie! Thank you for the reminder. I wrote my middle grade novel in two months, but it's taken me three years to figure out what I want to do with it. It may take even longer to get it all sorted and done, but I'm ready to be patient now. After three years. LOL. Wisdom comes with years sometimes.

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  13. Hi Katrina! I love your Manuscript! you've worked very hard on it :) Hard work really pays off in the end. You will do fantastic!

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