Tuesday, July 5, 2011


So I've hit the 30 page mark in my revision pass and now I face a quandry... to query or not to query.

Kristin Nelson back at the Missouri Writers' Guild "Just Write" conference told me that if I got the thing revised really well she'd love to read my first thirty pages. I really want to get them to her before she forgets who I am, but I don't know if sending them now is a good idea or if I should wait to finish the rest of the draft? Because there's always room for improvement and my darn prophecy keeps being rewritten over and over and over again. I want it to be as perfect as it can be, but I also want to start this process moving.

If I do query now, it moves my success anxiety to a whole other level. I have full confidence this thing will succeed, there is simply no doubt... but I want it to succeed with an agent and a publisher. Sending it now is frightening because I can always make things better and I want nothing but the best to be reviewed by my choice agent. This of course marks a difference between the quality of the writing and the details of the story.

The writing is at a level I'm proud of. It's been reviewed well by peers so far and reads decent out loud. There's always room to improve or at least change it, but barring another year of practice I don't know if it's going to improve too dramatically with another pass. Even if I change details of the events, the story and writing will be about the same. So what's to lose by querying now except some sleep maybe.

Plus querying now would put it on her desk for the expected six months I could then spend revising and editing the rest of the draft. Even if I go back and change details in the first thirty pages she'll probably have revisions to suggest anyway, right? I think that's how it goes. Maybe it's a good idea to send it off in it's juvenile state?

OH but I'm nervous! I'll have to start really really working on my query letter! I've never written a query letter before...and I have no idea how to write one for an agent I've already pitched to. Do I say "Dear Kristin (or Kristin's assistant), I'm Jennifer Stolzer, I pitched you a book about Brushcasters and Curses, you asked for my first thirty pages please find them attached?" or do I query the old fashioned way and make puppy eyes hoping she'll say "Hey I remember you! Send me your thirty, I'ma ready for them!"

And I know everyone's scared of rejection, but I know my book is a good one. I'm confident in it and I love it... I know if it gets rejected I'll grow some serious doubts. I don't want to make a million dollars, I only want people to read it! I'll be alright with an ebook I guess -_- I'm dreaming big on this one though, and I don't often dream big. If you keep your expectations low you're less likely to be disappointed.

So okay, I'll query now. Well soon. I'll query soon. First I'm going to tie a ribbon around these thirty, sent them to some strangers and ask them to read and review. If they like then I'll send them... if not then I'll give them another pass with the suggestions I receive. I think it's a good plan.

What's everyone's thoughts?


  1. I always feel very unqualified to give you advice on such matters as these but if it helps AT ALL, I'll still try. ^^;

    I actually have a friend who's been privately selling his own comic for the past few years, and he's given me some nice tips on revision and writing here and there. One that I wasn't too willing to agree with at first, but is definitely helpful, was this and I quote, "Honestly, refining a work so that it'll be a thing of beauty is nice n' all, but there WILL be better stories in the future. And there's only one lifetime to get all done within, yanno?"

    So if you feel that it's presentable, and it sounds like you do, I would definitely query now. As for how you should, I'm afraid I have no experience with that sort of thing. I MIGHT suggest in-person, since that would give her a face to associate with the story, but uh, again, no experience. Maybe include a written note as well so she can remember who gave it to her and why?

    On a slightly more general note, I'M REALLY EXCITED TO READ THIS! XD It might be a while, but still. You seem to have excellent taste in characters so I'm looking forward to reading about more of your own. :)

  2. Thanks! If you're willing, would you read the first thirty when I've iced them up the way I like? A casual reader opinion is what I really need to make sure it works.

  3. I think it would be best to send it in as it is, that way you can get one foot in the door. As for the letter, it would probably be best to assume they don't remember much, I can only imagine how many people an agent goes through in a select period of time. I wish you the best of luck! I've been a big fan of your work so far, and I am sure that this will go places. (I'm ATX1 on DA and Phantom_Night on twitter)

  4. ...Oh?...OH! Sure! Yes, I would certainly like to do that! Do you have a preferential way of sharing it? (e-mail, ect...)

  5. Email Yes. And Gin, if you want to you can read it too.