Now I know why agents have to ask you to finish a manuscript before you send a query.
When I first started querying agents, I read that little instruction with a bit of disbelief. Why wouldn’t you finish the manuscript? Now, no longer a complete novice, I know.
I hate waiting. Waiting for a possible rejection or even a possible acceptance is excruciating and I’m already feeling it now. In first draft!
I’m progressing at a little over a chapter a day, about nine a week. Intellectually, I know this is a pretty a good clip. I’m writing not just for volume but for content. But I’m impatient with myself and I feel like I’m going agonizingly slow.
In between chapters, I’ve been working on a query. I’ve got a pretty good framework now and I entertained the thought, briefly, of polishing it and sending it to all those agents who only want a query. Maybe *gasp* even polishing the first five pages, a synopsis and the query, sending them all out and then picking up the manuscript where I left off.
We all know that it can take up to six weeks and longer for an agent to respond even to the initial query. By then, heck, by the end of February, the entire manuscript will be completed. If I send the queries out now, I can work on the manuscript while I wait. I’d be wasting time if I didn’t. What am I waiting for?
She sighs and hangs her head. No. I won’t.
Why? It has to do with professionalism and honesty. If I tell an agent I have a complete manuscript for his or her review, I’m going to have a complete manuscript for review; even if it means spending weeks waiting. I do already have the next project in mind. It’s not like I’d be twittering my thumbs or having writing withdrawals.
On the other hand, can you think of a better way to assure an agent asks for a complete manuscript in record time than to not have one ready?