Thursday, February 5, 2009

To Go Forward or Not

I'm torn. I want to be submitting query letters like crazy for Conventional Demon and really getting the word out there (to people who can send me money) about my novel. However, I know there's some work to do. A good amount. At the rate I'm going, at least a month's worth of work to do. (Were it my full-time job, maybe I'd feel more confident I could make all the changes in less time, but I'm not.)

So the question is, do I go ahead and send out queries, knowing that agencies take a typical 6 weeks to respond and hope to have perfected--ah, okay, refined--CD by then, or do I wait until it's a more cohesive novel with the scenes I know need to be added before I send the query letters?

I want to do both. The first makes the most sense, but if I'm working on query letters, then I'm not working on improvements. Of course, the same could be said the other way. Ghaa. Help. What should I do?

8 comments:

TikiBird said...

Do you think you'd be more confident sending out queries if you knew you had CD as great as you could make it?

TikiBird said...

...or do you think you'd be more confident working on CD if you knew you could have agents clamoring to see it?

I guess I'm not much help! If it were me, I would opt to work on the book, but that might just be because querying makes me nervous.

Rebecca Chastain said...

TikiBird,

You seem to have run the same circle as me. Naturally, I want to think about the best-case scenario, so that would be an agent immediately wanting to see the manuscript. I would hate to say, "Hang on, I'm tweaking a few things." Of course, it would give me EXTREME motivation to get my hiney in gear...

Cody said...

DO IT!!! No more stalling.. The world wants your book! GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT!!

Cody said...

LET THEM EAT CAKE!!!!

Rebecca Chastain said...

I'm not stalling--I'm marinating. LOL Perfecting. Adding depth. Adding character development. Freaking myself out with questions of "is it good enough now? Maybe I should add an unresolved issue from her past...or something that I could give away as swag."

Jennieke said...

Yeah, I know this dilemma very well. You can't win either way, so my suggestion is to do both. Query the people near the bottom of your list, or those who have long response times. Then keep working on CD.

That's what I used to do, but have now stopped doing, b/c I found that after I sent out queries, it would somehow keep me from working on the book. Then when I got requests, the book wasn't yet up to my standards. I was psyching myself out for no good reason. I don't think you'll fall into that trap, though. I think you're a bit more disciplined than I am when it comes to working/revising (as evidenced by your tireless data tracking in your spreadsheet). :)

Rebecca Chastain said...

Jennieke,

Ah, the joys of spreadsheets. I'm so glad I finially finished that basic spreadsheet of the book so I can concentrate on what needs to be added.

I think that my story needs a little more work before I can query. The thought of getting a requested MS from an agent and then not being able to give them my best work makes me feel a little weak in the knees. Plus, I'm hoping that a bit more rewriting, refining, and adding those scenes we talked about will help with the query letter and synopsis--help me define my theme better and Madison's internal struggles, while perfecting her physical struggles.

I've just got to not let the urgency build too much--the one that says I'm running out of time, even when I know I'm not.

Thanks for your advice!