On Clubbing an Agent Over the Head


I’ve been avoiding this post, heeding all the dire warnings to writers not to be too open on the Internet. Because, of course, all six visitors to this blog might rat me out, right? Truth be told, I have no real complaints about agents. They’ve been swell, honestly. I’ve been lucky I guess. Let me be more specific. I don’t have an agent. I queried a bunch, and only one banana in the bunch didn’t want to see the manuscript. How cool is that? I guess I write a really good query letter! So that was quite exciting! I rewrote the manuscript for one agent, who wanted to see it longer, deeper, make me feel cheaper… whoops, I digress. Bottom line–two instant rejections. “You write great characters, but I didn’t like the plot.” “I loved the plot, but wasn’t crazy about your characters.” It was lovely to get feedback, but what do you do with something like that? So it’s out to three more spots (yep, it’s a good query), and I’m waiting for more conflicting critiques. Oh, yes, one said “you’re a strong writer, but I didn’t like this as much as I thought I would.” Hear that scream? That’s me in my apartment. WHY???? Tell me why? What didn’t you like? But it’s not their job. It’s kinda like hitting a dartboard blindfolded, with someone saying “warmer, colder, ouch, colder, colder, warmer…” Have no idea what to do to this book to make it a bullseye. So I’ll watch the mail, hoping not to see any envelopes with my own handwriting on them. Fingers crossed for me. It’s a good book, honest.

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4 thoughts on “On Clubbing an Agent Over the Head

  1. Kate Davies says:

    Hey Ciar!

    Wow, good track record with the query letter! I’m on the Great Agent Safari, too, and kind of in the same spot as you. Conflicting feedback, hard to read the tea leaves. Miss Snark had a great post on this the other day. The gist of it was, “you write strawberry. The agents you queried like chocolate or vanilla.”

    So all we can do is keep on keepin’ on, and we’ll find that agent who loves strawberry as much as we do.

    Fingers crossed for you,

    Kate

  2. Ciar Cullen says:

    Oh, I’ll look for that post, Kate. Usually I can’t handle Miss Snark, not because she’s annoying (she can be, as she would admit), but because she’s right, and the truth hurts. I’ll cross my fingers for you, and perhaps we’ll can exchange hints. I’ll post whatever responses I get and a bit about the book, just in case it helps anyone out there!
    xoxo
    Ciar

  3. Kendra Clark says:

    I usually get, you have a fresh and exciting voice, however I wasn’t drawn in by the characters. Or I like it but I didn’t LOVE it enough to pursue it.

    It’s like a code. Someone TELL ME SPECIFIC. I’d much rather hear that I totally suck and them validate and give me reasons why then to get those types rejections.

    (()) to you.

  4. Ciar Cullen says:

    Yeah, Kendra, what is that “I didn’t LOVE IT enough?” Well, did you freaking love it a little? I just didn’t LOVE IT. I’m not asking you to love it, lady, I’m asking you to like it and sell it. I know, I know…I get it. Agreed, I’d rather get a little postcard with an unsmiley face on it.

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