Waiting Time

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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Wryan
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Waiting Time

Post by Wryan » March 31st, 2010, 9:05 pm

I got the most exciting email of my life two weeks ago today, when an agent (whom I'd forgotten that I'd even queried) asked to read my full manuscript. Hooray, first request for a full! I did a quick reread of everything and emailed my beast off to her on Thursday. She responded promptly with, "Thanks, I'll get back to you in around four weeks."

Since then, I've been bursting with both excitement and anticipation. I'm not normally the patient type anyway, so waiting for an email that could (potentially) lead me down the path I've wanted to go since I was six is proving enormously difficult. Ignoring my zepplin-load of homework -- my professors apparently missed the memo that I'm an up-and-coming literary phenom and therefore should be exempt from such plebian things like homework -- what's the best way I can kill time? I'm up for anything short of freelance cosmetic surgery.

More to the point, when an agent says "I'll get back to you in around four weeks," what sort of time frame should I expect to see a response? I recognize that they're tremendously busy people, so I'm not planning on emailing her right when the four weeks mark is up. In fact, unless something like three months go by and I haven't heard from her, I'm more than willing to allow her to take all the time she wants -- I'm just excited she wanted to see more. But how long of a wait do you think I should hunker down for?

BlancheKing
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Re: Waiting Time

Post by BlancheKing » March 31st, 2010, 9:15 pm

From what I read, I'm guessing you're a college student, right?

So, from one college student to another, try to keep this in mind: Do not do not DO NOT let your work/ grades get away from you. Requests are fun, but if you don't do your work for four weeks, your semester/ quarter will end miserably. Partials and Fulls don't necessarily mean you're going to get the agent, and then you're stuck with your grades forever. I was way too excited when I got my first request, and put off three weeks of work for it. It didn't work out, and now I'm stuck playing catch up.
One manuscript, One dream, One stack of stamps that needs to be bought...
Writing Process: http://blancheking.blogspot.com/

Wryan
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Re: Waiting Time

Post by Wryan » March 31st, 2010, 9:19 pm

Ahaha, don't worry, I don't put off schoolwork. I gave up all of my extracurricular activities this semester so I could focus on my homework and my writing. I enjoy my homework (most of the time), anyway; I'm one of those unfortunate nerd-types.

BlancheKing
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Re: Waiting Time

Post by BlancheKing » March 31st, 2010, 9:20 pm

just curious: what EC's? Are you planning to go to grad school too? =)
One manuscript, One dream, One stack of stamps that needs to be bought...
Writing Process: http://blancheking.blogspot.com/

Wryan
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Re: Waiting Time

Post by Wryan » March 31st, 2010, 9:22 pm

I'm involved with a student-run theater group on campus, along with my university's model United Nations team. I had a bad week first semester where I went to Philadelphia for four days, came back, and proceeded into production week for my show. My classes got very angry with me after that :P

As for grad school, it really depends. I want to be a writer very badly, and if I can make a career out of it, that's what I'll do. But at the moment I'm satisfying requirements to go to law school in a few years. We'll see what happens.

BlancheKing
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Re: Waiting Time

Post by BlancheKing » March 31st, 2010, 10:17 pm

Law school seems to be what all of us want if we can't become writers. Best of luck. I hope you make it as a writer instead of a lawyer X)
One manuscript, One dream, One stack of stamps that needs to be bought...
Writing Process: http://blancheking.blogspot.com/

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shadow
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Re: Waiting Time

Post by shadow » March 31st, 2010, 10:21 pm

Congratulations! Way to go! Maybe you could post the query that got you that request? We all love to learn from good queries :)
All things writing, visit my blog http://arielemerald.blogspot.com/

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EvelynEhrlich
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Re: Waiting Time

Post by EvelynEhrlich » March 31st, 2010, 10:32 pm

Wryan and BlancheKing,
I was a lawyer for 6 years before I quit to become a writer, so feel free to PM me if you have any questions about law school, legal careers, etc.

-Evelyn

BlancheKing
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Re: Waiting Time

Post by BlancheKing » March 31st, 2010, 11:15 pm

@ evelyn: that's wonderful! thank you =)

@ wrayn: I almost forgot to mention this. I don't know about fulls, but I've heard some people get it back in a month and some in two. My partial came back in two weeks, so I'm guessing the estimate is accurate.
oh, and a question for you: how were you able to convince yourself to send out the full and how many days after the agent requested it? I can't find the guts to send out my full just yet. A part of me keeps wondering if there's an extra "that" or "it" somewhere that I could take out to improve my manuscript.
One manuscript, One dream, One stack of stamps that needs to be bought...
Writing Process: http://blancheking.blogspot.com/

Wryan
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Re: Waiting Time

Post by Wryan » April 1st, 2010, 2:12 pm

Thank you, Evelyn, if I have any questions I'll know who I can ask :)

As for how I found the guts to send out my full manuscript... I dunno, I just sort of did it. I'm not trying to write something that can be stuck on the shelf of great literature next to Shakespeare and Milton, I just wanted to write the kind of adventure story that I've always wanted to read. I reread the entire thing in less than 24 hours right before I sent it off, and I thought at the end, "Yeah, I would want to read this." That was enough for me, I guess.

Wryan
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Re: Waiting Time

Post by Wryan » May 7th, 2010, 11:32 am

Well, the agent said no.

She said she enjoyed a lot of elements in the plot, and she was drawn into the story (and was even "dying to know" some plot elements at the end), but ultimately felt it was a middle grade novel, not a young adult one, and that issue couldn't be fixed just by aging my main character down from 17 to 14. I'd have to address some serious elements in the plot to do that.

All in all, not the news I wanted, but hey, at least the issue is more with the plot and less with the writing. I can fix plot elements.

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