May 16, 2010

The End of Penn

Yesterday was both a good and a bad day. I found the courage to anonymously submit my query for critique by a panel of agents. So, in front of my peers, it was read allowed. They stopped reading the query before it was even finished so this should tell you something.

It sucked. They said it was stiff and didn't reveal my character's motivations or enough of the plot. Fantastic.

I had a pitch appointment later that day with one of the agents on that panel and was feeling pretty crappy about it since she had already made her opinion known. Since I was her last appointment for the day, I asked her if she wanted to skip meeting me so she could leave early since she'd already rejected my query, but she said no, that we could meet and talk.

I met with her a couple of hours later and she asked for a written copy of my query and the first couple pages of my novel. I gave them to her and then we started chatting about my book. In my book, I don't tell the reader why the protagonist is kidnapped until much later in the book because I wanted to add some suspense. In reality, failing to write this in my query left my antagonists without motivation. I realized it was essential to include it in my query, especially since she seemed to like the hidden motivation for the plot.

So, here's the good news. She asked me to change my title and my query (didn't like either) and resubmit it to her, along with--dun dun dun da--my full ms. I am going to frame the little piece of paper she wrote her email address and instructions on. So, now I am tweaking and re-tweaking before resending. I am going to take all the information that I learned this weekend about plot, dialogue, showing v. telling, etc, and try to make my ms the best ms I can possibly make and then attach it to an email and send. Oh, and wait with crossed fingers hoping that she bites.

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