Today was an exciting day.
I sent my first query letter.
If you read my previous post, you’ll know that in the beginning of August, I finished my manuscript, QG. It had been painstaking at times, but after four and a half months, I had a completed book. Even though QG is a YA fantasy and I know fantasy can run a little long, 135,000 words seemed like a lot for a first time author. My goal had been to chop 15,000-20,000 words before I queried, fearing the high word count would scare off agents.
I started reading my manuscript in late August. This was the first time I was reading my story from start to finish and I had three main goals in mind (aside from grammar and punctuation errors):
- Continuity – I wanted to make sure that the story made sense and flowed.
- Content – I wanted to make sure that everything I’d wanted to put in the book was there.
- Cutting – I knew I wanted to trim my first draft as much as possible so I had to make sure that everything that was in the book needed to be there.
For the most part, when I reread my story the first time there weren’t many things I changed. The story itself was good and I was happy with how everything came together in the end. I did have to add a few more character scenes and rewrite a few interactions but again, overall I was feeling good about it. Cutting had been a little more difficult because I was afraid I’d remove something that would hurt the story, but in the end, I managed to cut about 7,000 words bringing my manuscript to 127,000.
After I finished the first read-through, I set the manuscript aside, wanting to look it over one more time before I sent queries. My plan had been to finish the second edit before Halloween, but I ended up setting the book aside for longer. I’d decided that while I waited to dive back into my story, I’d write a short story that took place in the same universe as QG. I didn’t want to start reading/editing while I was writing and so I waited. I finished writing the short story a week ago and then I immediately did a second round of editing for QG, finishing yesterday.
QG has gone through four edits (the first was my mom, then my younger brother, and two from me) and I feel really good about the manuscript I have. I sent my first query letter today and will be sending another tomorrow. I have to look for additional agents to send to, which I’ll work on this week.
I’m really excited and hopeful that someone will fall in love with my story like I did. It would be a dream come true to become a published author. Fingers and toes crossed I’ll have good news in the future.