The recent contest I entered at Miss Snark's First Victim's blog galvanized me to action once again. After sending out a batch of queries in January (I can't believe it's already been eight months!), and receiving many rejections, a few requests for pages, and a few more rejections, I decided to wait a little before querying more. In that time, I've worked on other projects, but I've also been busy tightening that frustrating beginning of the story and also crafting more engaging query and synopses.
This time around, I didn't win the contest—the prize was a request for the first 100 pages of your manuscript by the secret agent. I didn't come in second or third, either. But I did get a request from the agent to review the first twenty pages of my novel! Exciting!
So the first few chapters are in the agent's hands, and I await her response with mild optimism. (Cody's far more excited than I am; I'm feeling decidedly rational and even-keeled about it, but it's nice to have someone jumping for joy.) I'm not putting all my hopes in her, though. I've begun researching and querying agents again. I've read through Madison twice since January, once for edits and once just to read it. I like it. I have a story to sell. I have confidence in my writing.
And while I wait, I'm going through the book for another edit, smoothing out a few bubbles and repetition in the internal conflict—making the edits I know an editor would request now that I've had some distance to see where the flaws lie.
I'm also checking email with an increased obsessiveness, but that's to be expected.