RTW--D'ohn't Try This At Home




Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors and followers post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on their blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week's topic: What's the biggest writing/querying/publishing mistake you've made so far?

I think others will also be featuring this biggest mistake: querying before the manuscript was actually ready.

Three years ago, I absolutely thought it was ready. Well, this close to being ready. But you see, I was going to beat the system. I knew it would take a while to hear back on queries, so that bought me more revision time, right? Yes, technically it did--but I didn't do anything else during that time period that improved my craft, so it didn't matter.

Sure, when the requests started coming in, I caught a few more spelling errors or typos, but there were not any drastic improvements. So those requests turned into form rejections when they got the pages.

It wasn't until we formed our current YA crit group that I felt like I made real progress in my writing, partly from what we cover in our meetings and partly from all the links and resources we exchange. Couldn't do it without the cannibal club!

Now, if the question had been about the funniest mistake, I only have to go back to last week on Twitter. An agent posted that they were going to start a "Query All-stars folder" for the really crazy queries she gets.

It struck me that some twisted soul would take that as a challenge, a way to get her attention. So I jokingly tweeted, "Challenge accepted! Something new to strive for!" Only she didn't know I was joking and I think I kind of scared her.

13 comments:

Sarah Enni said...

LOL I hope the agent knew you were joking!! That's one thing that makes Twitter so scary sometimes---sarcasm is a b*tch to translate into a tweet.

And gah, I think querying an MS too early is a mistake that nearly everyone makes. Unfortunately the only way you can really, truly know it's not ready is... to get rejected. But learning from it is what makes it alright, especially in hindsight, right? :)

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Sarah-- She didn't seem to get that I was joking, because she sent a stern reply saying, "Allow me to clarify--you do not want to end up on this All Stars list." So then I had to apologize and let her know I was joking, because I didn't really want to end up on a smart ass list either.

Miss Cole said...

I thought I was ready at 13 ^^;

Hah, I wanna see some of those crazy queries. Maybe the idea I have of how to do it is actually completely insane ^^;

Rebecca B said...

I think your response to that tweet was hilarious!

Also guilty of querying too early, and sending--let's call them "unconventional" (i.e. clueless) queries, too. :)

Kate Hart said...

Bah, if an agent has no sense of humor, you don't want them anyway. :) I would have laughed and put you in the awesome folder.

Jennifer Hoffine said...

Yes, I tried an "unconventional" query too. I did only send out five queries at a time and not to all my top choices right away...those were "smarter" moves I stuck with all the way.

Rachel Bateman said...

How is it that if you are completely and totally ready that it takes *forever* to hear back from agents, but if you are banking on that extra time to revise they get back to you right away? Never seems to fail.

Oh man, I hope that agent knows you were only kidding.

Jessica Love said...

I am so afraid of querying too early that I feel like I'll NEVER be ready! I need to try to find the middle ground.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

I'm glad I'm not alone with the querying too early thing! It seems to be a theme in all our posts.

Nancy Herman said...

OMG! Is that what we're called? The Cannibal Club? How come no one told me? I LIKE IT!

Alison Miller said...

I definitely made the mistake of querying before I was ready - with that 175K novel. Believe it or not, I got a request on it.

Now I'm the other extreme. I don't ever feel I'm ready to query, but I do.

Alicia Gregoire said...

I've done the same querying mistake. That's too bad the agent didn't get you were joking.

Christina Mercer said...

Ha Ha, the Cannibal Club. Not only is it one our inside jokes, but it kinda fits how we chew each others stories apart. Story Cannibals, eh?

Oh to be so serious on twitter. Humor, people, it's what makes the world a brighter place ;-)

Post a Comment