Friday, November 12, 2010

Good news and bad news

Usually I spit out the bad news first.  But this time, I have to tell you the good news in order for the bad news to make sense.  And there's some good news with the bad news, too... anyways, here it is:

I got my first partial request!  An agent asked for pages based on just my query letter.  I screamed and jumped up and down (which truly terrified the cat) and shrieked at my husband and hugged the dog and called my mom. 

The bad news is that the agent rejected me a day later.  She said she enjoyed the pages, that they were well-written and my story was interesting, but she didn't connect with my characters.  Talk about a roller coaster of emotion!  So, the good news about the bad news is that I finally got some feedback, and at least finally connected with a real live agent.  And, it's a step in the right direction, an important rite of passage.  I know most people get some rejections on partial requests before they finally land an agent.

So, I'm excited to have finally gotten further than a form rejection, and the agent's suggestion really confirmed for me some needed editing I had been contemplating for a while.  I love my prologue - it's very dramatic and fast-paced.  But the next fifty pages or so are my least favorite of the book.  And if I feel that way, it's unlikely an agent is going to get far enough to request more.  My goal at the beginning of the book was to build on the feeling of isolation of my MC - she's going through crazy stuff, there's no one to confide in, etc.  But what's missing is the juicy dialogue and characters that come into play later.  Therefore, I've undertaken a major edit, completely rewriting the first couple of chapters to bring forward some scenes and characters that initially were sitting further back in the book.  I also decided I need to play up the sassiness of my MC.  I wanted to portray her as very normal, so that when she discovers she's a witch it's that much more dramatic, but I have made her a bit too boring.

Progress!  Change!  Adventure!  I'll keep you guys posted on my voyage back into EditLand. 

14 comments:

  1. Wow, I know the rejection stings, but that's awesome you had a request and that she gave you some suggestions! At least you know your query is kick-ass! And you realized what needed to be done on your ms, which sounds awesome!

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  2. It's definitely a roller coaster, isn't it? Good for you for taking it all in stride. Sounds like your book is going to be even more fantastic once you get through with this round of edits. Keep up the great attitude!

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  3. Aww..rejection hurts, but see the positive side, she did give you few suggestions. You can incorporate them in your edits. The fact that you have realized what is lacking in your MC will surely go a long way in making her more likeable and making the readers connect with her.
    Thanks for the award. Left a comment on that post too.

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  4. Congrats on the partial request! I'm sorry it turned into a rejection, though. You've got an excellent attitude about it. I think after my first partial rejection, I wanted to throw something at someone. LOL Hang in there and good luck with those edits. =o)

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  5. Hi, Alexia,
    I certainly like your positive attitude about the final rejection, and it sounds like you are taking all the right steps. Also, you have reason to be positive, because personal contact and interest from an agent is definitely a sign you are farther on the road. I think you can probably query her regarding whether she would like to see the rewrites. Agents like authors they can "work with".

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  6. I'm happy you got a request! I bet another agent will really fall in love with your characters. And with your new inspiration, I bet the rewrites will make it even more amazing. Good luck!

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  7. Yeay for progress!! Congratulations on your request and great feedback! I agree with the others, you will find an agent who does connect with your characters soon enough!

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  8. My darling wife...you are the most talented and tenacious spirit I know. I am confident your rewrite will be great, and all of your hard work (and shunning me) will pay off. Keep it up baby! I'm so very proud of you!

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  9. Hi Alexia - don't know if I can compete right after that lovely comment from your hubby, lol! Too sweet! :)

    But, congrats on getting an agent's attention! That's the goal - after all. And definitely confirmation that you've got a great idea that will appeal to readers. Such awesome news to get! And obviously helpful. I, too, think that maybe I need to spice up my MC and get to the meat of my story up front. Best of luck with your editing!

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  10. Ooh, congratulations! I'm so sorry it didn't work out, but don't worry, you will definitely find an agent who connects with not only your characters, but your whole story! :)

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  11. That's fantastic! Feedback is gold! Congrats!

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  12. Thanks everyone! I really appreciate all the support. It's so nice having a community of fellow writers.

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  13. Congrats on getting a partial request! That's always a great accomplishment so you can pat yourself on the back.

    I think you've made a good decision to vamp up the beginning of your novel. Every part of the book should be just as good as every other part. That's when you know that you're characters will be engaging from the start and will continue to be engaging.

    Thanks for joining my blog. I'm joining your site too and look forward to getting to know you.

    Jai

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  14. Fantastic progress. Thanks so much for sharing this story. And, your Hubby rocks. Love that.

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