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Terrible Tip: Don’t Get Caught With Your Trousers Down

April 17, 2011

Here’s a riddle for you:  What has 2 thumbs and is a complete dumbass?  Answer:  This guy! (meaning me)

When you begin to query, you should really make sure you have the full story ready to send out.

When I was getting ready to query, I did the first 50 pages and then thought, “Why bother with the rest of it?  Not like anyone’s going to ask for it.”

Well, someone did.  Oh.  Shit.

Making the situation worse was I said the story was 85,000 words.  So when I combine my edited 50 pages with the rest it’s 125,000 words.  D’OH!!!  I spent an entire night until 1:30am doing a quick edit job.  I’ll probably have missed something and look like a total ass now.

They also wanted a 1-2 page synopsis, which I had to whip up on the fly during my lunch break.  Though the first draft was too long so I went back and edited later.  I feel less bad about that because agents ask for anything from 1 page to 3, 5, maybe even 10 pages synopses.  It’s hard to be prepared for that unless you write a whole bunch of them in advance.  Or maybe write a long one that you could pare down later.

Anyway, what the Boy Scouts always say–Be Prepared–is good advice.  Don’t be a lazy assclown like me, kids!

If anyone needs me, I’ll be bashing my head into a wall.


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  1. Hey…congrats on getting the request! Even if you had to work like a dog to get it ready. Good luck!

  2. *laughs* Hey that’s pretty cool. Fingers crossed for you.

  3. This is very exciting mutt. I hope you get an agent. 🙂

  4. I think everyone missed the point.

  5. Yeah, they told us this in the querying agents panels at Ad Astra last weekend. Do NOT query until you are ready with everything that the agent/publisher might ask for, up to the full manuscript. (Unless you’re just sending a proposal and are clear about that in your letter.)

    Good luck recovering from that blunder. 😉

  6. I didn’t miss the point and agree with Kelworth in his unsaid sentiments that you should have known better and you should have been prepared. But I wanted to say somethng nice.

    Honestly, your post takes me by surprise because I would have thought you’d have all your ducks in a row, especially considering how much bitching we’ve done on your blog about querying. I just assumed you were still (despite the bitching) on the same page with all of us and had your synopsis and your work in progress highly polished and ready to go.

    Anyways…I still wish you luck. You’ve got a lot of natural writing talent so its possible that your “gift” will carry you through this blunder and make it all seem seemless on the other end. That’s what I’m hoping for in your situation :).

    • Yeah, I know better, but the last few times at most I just get a tepid partial, so I didn’t feel like expending the extra effort. If I had I probably wouldn’t have gotten any response. That’s how things usually go.

  7. Haha, oh dear – yes, I would always at LEAST have my work finished before querying. however I recently got asked for some pages on an ms that is NOT ready, even though it’s technically complete. I just hadn’t edited it nearly as much as I needed to, and the lady who requested it was a pretty major deal. I haven’t got my rejection back from her yet but I’m expecting it anytime now. LOL.

  8. LOL, this is so funny. I can’t be a boy scout, but I’ll pass the word around. Congrats and good luck!

  9. My wish for you is that you temporarily transform from a mutt to a cat, and land on your feet.

    “Yeah, I know better, but the last few times at most I just get a tepid partial, so I didn’t feel like expending the extra effort. If I had I probably wouldn’t have gotten any response.”

    I feel you on this. I am the Queen of Blazing Success when I do things half-arsed. I always get deuced by my lack of follow-through. Catch 22, anyone?

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