So, my newest project is getting more full requests than I originally anticipated which is great- nothing helps you get over a near miss better than a new request to see more.
But then I did what you really shouldn’t do when your manuscript is out with agents (or maybe you should. I dunno).
I reread my MS.
And about three quarters of the way through my stomach began to sink. Why do I still have so many dialogue tags? Why do I have to describe everything the characters do when they speak? Why do I always try and smush two sentences into one?
I went completely comma-kaze on my MS’s ass too. Comma’s splattered everywhere.
Who writes like that? Why can’t I be normal! I caught two more grammatical errors that made me cringe. Not to mention how many glances and looks are thrown, cast or given or how often people ‘gaze’ intently, roll their eyes, shrug their shoulders, and run hands through their hair. It’s like every character in my novel has severe T syndrome. They just can’t seem to speak to each other without rubbing their hands all over themselves and ‘eyeing’ everyone and everything in some bizarre way.
Dear GOD! What have I done?
Why do I even bother to hope? I’m not worthy!
You are delusional my poor girl if you ever thought this was good writing....Someone should take away your keyboard and bar you from pens and pencils to be sure you can never write another crappy sentences structure or overused adverb ever again....You should be sent to writer’s purgatory to burn in the fires of bad-writing hell....
You get the idea.
Has this ever happened to you? Gah! How could I have missed all the pet-peevy crap BEFORE sending it out to agents?
Hope ya’ll had a good weekend!
It's amazing how much more aware we become once our work is out there. But that's awesome you've had requests!
Don't worry Katie, at least they're clamoring for your ms! I think there's a lot they're willing to over look for a good story.
Congratulations on those requests! And on spotting things you can do to improve your ms. It's hard not to freak out in a situation like that--it's happened to me many times! It just happened to me recently, actually, after I sent a new ms to my agent. I started rereading it and was horrified at all the repeated words and awkwardness. If you've still got a good story and solid writing, then the rest can be fixed with a good edit! I know my ms went through a few rounds after I got rep. All you can do is make it as perfect as you can, and then hope for the best. You're certainly not the only writer in this boat :)
You are not the only one who goes through this, trust me. I hate my books after writing them, I can't help it. I love the stories, but feel I don't do them justice.
Relax, you are getting requests. There has to be some brilliance in your work.
It's totally normal (how sick is that?)... I'm rereading through my MS right now, a week before I start querying. The nerves and terrified nature I remain in during this process has begun. Parnoia sets in, even worse when the requests show up.
Did I query the person at the right time? Will they like that my characters love to glance or would they have preferred gazed? What the hell was I talking about with that farm animal in chapter three? Dear God can't this just be EASIER *pulls hair*
Nope... guess that's why writers are borderline crazy (and when I say borderline, I mean full on crazy, we just call ourselves writers to refrain from wearing the straight jacket).
OH, I know, I know, I know! The worst thing you can do is reread something that's with an editor or has fulls out. You'll drive yourself crazy.
Read it before, or after.
Step away from the manuscript with your hands up. Seriously. Walk away before you shred what a wonderful manuscript people are actually requesting. From here, it seems like you're not in a place to look at it objectively. (Been there, done that.) Have an objective person look it over again for you, if you can't leave it alone. But don't tear it to pieces until you're in a better place mentally.
Awwwwww CQG!! Step away from the MS!! You got all these requests for it so keep positive!! Yay for you!!!!! I have everything crossed for your fabulous novel!! Yay!! Take care
I totally understand. I've made the same mistake of looking at something after I've sent it away...a mistake I don't intend to make again.
LOL!!! Bwahahahahaha!!! I've done that SO many times...
And I'm snort-city at you w/the T syndrome. :D But! It sounds like you must've done it right to be getting so many full requests!
GOOD LUCK!!! xoxo (and try not to freak yourself out)
I agree with Old Kitty & B.E... Step away from it! You have a very clever/funny way of describing these frustrations... I admire your honesty and sense of humor. :) :) :)
Oh no! Don't EVER read your ms when it's out. Oh my god, recipe for total misery. I did that once. Never again. Ever. Ever. Ever. :-/
Haha! This made me laugh (in empathy) because I totally relate. I can't even read my published books without cringing. ERGH!
Ha! I've totally done that. Query letters, partials, fulls...they've all been deemed as crap shortly after I press send. There are some typos that make me cringe in particular, one of them being spelling my protagonist's name wrong. Twice :)
Don't worry so much about it. Those kinds of mistakes are the absolute easiest ones to fix in terms of editing.
Just be glad when you reread it you didn't discover a plot hole the size of Texas. (Not so easy to fix....and yes, I have done this.)
As everybody has said, don't worry about it. I feel the same about every novel I've written, and even sometimes after the final copy-edit has been done, and everything's locked down. I'll always find something I don't like.
The trick is being able to identify such things at all, and you've got that sorted - the rest is just called editing!
First of all, you don't suck.
Secondly, if your errors were really glaring, yours truly would have pointed them out.
Finally, keep working on the ms so that every time you get a full request, you're sending out the most polished version.
Oh, and YAY for the full requests!
It sounds like you are becoming a better writer to notice the things that are obvious to an editor. So revise and resubmit! Get rid of all the glances, looks, eye-rolling, head-rubbing and who knows what might happen after that. Because clearly your story is good, and so are your queries, or you wouldn't be getting so many full requests.
It's a sign of becoming a better writer - it's a good thing so long as it doesn't stop you from sending out your ms for all those great requests. Congrats on all the requests! Focus on that part, and you'll breathe easier (well, maybe not, but chocolate helps!)
From this post I have learned to NEVER open up my MS before sending it off to an agent.
Hooray, for the full requests!
Sorry about the MS. I know, I'm always shocked when I read my own "finished products" I think all writers probably feel that way.
I'm 99% sure this is a totally normal freak out. I have them whenever I share my work with ANYONE, not even talking about agents. Every time I send something out to my crit group and then read over the chapters again, I wonder why they even bother to show up most weeks. If you're getting requests, it's because your writing is GOOD.
Congrats on the requests! The panic happens to all of us. It'll pass.
OMG OMG OMG THAT LITERALLY JUST HAPPENED TO ME LAST NIGHT!!!
And I only have ONE full out! But as I was rereading it, I thought, "One and ONLY full. Because no one else is going to read this shit."
Nothing else to say. Just (((HUGS)))
Yes, this happens to me. Fortunately (or not, LOL!), I don't get that many requests, hahahahahaha!
Good luck with the requests--you're doing something right!
Congratulations on the requests, Katie!
I haven't been there before because I haven't started querying yet. But I think this is something querying writers go through -- it's normal to freak out. But, like JEM said, you're getting requests because your writing is awesome. It's true and keep telling yourself that. :)
Oh yeah, this has happened more than once. I learned the hard way, don't ever re-read your manuscript when you have a full out. It just makes you want to curl up and disappear. Don't worry though, most agents expect you'll be doing edits with them. If the idea is powerful and the writing is strong, they won't care about the little things.
I'm not laughing at you I'm laughing with you, even though you're not laughing. This is always the way it happens. The same way you decide on a dress to wear for a big night out, and then when you get to the restaurant you wonder what you were thinking wearing it.
Don't sweat the small stuff. Go through the ms. one more time, find a whole other slew of agents to query, and go for it. The requests on the query only show that it's good. By the time they request a full, you should be able to make it fantastic and get the ever elusive yes. You go girl.
I'm going through this right now, girl! I AM NOT WORTHY!!
OMG, this was hilarious! I recognized myself/my characters so much in this post. LOL - my characters shrug so much, I think their necks must be shrinking iinto their shells like turtles!
Too, too true. Not about you sucking, I'm sure you're a fabulous writer. But about the doubting and nitpicking and worrying yourself crazy.
Have some confidence, girl. You deserve those requests.
Yes, it's happened to me, yes, it's happened to me, yes...EVERY time I re-read. My manuscript was accepted by a small publisher (who promptly went out of business before it could see the light of day) who assigned me an editor, who caught my mistakes. I could not believe the stupid errors that were still present in my "polished" manuscript.
You do NOT suck! And if the front end was pretty clean, they will know you CAN, even if they see you didn't get all the way through. The decision is on your story and whether you can tell it and they will be able to tell if you can (which I feel confident you can.)
I think you should just be encouraged so many are interested--that is excellent news and means your story is right...
Sad but yes. At least you can see it and you are getting a ton of requests. That's just awesome! =)
hi miss katie! hooray for getting asked for more of your stuff. wow! how cool is that. im thinking like miss sarah said it all bout if you got a good story and those commas and all that stuff youre worrying bout could be fixed up just way easy.
...hugs from lenny
Oh, how familiar your tale sounds. Why, yes, I have been there...and been there. I'm convinced there is no limit to the amount of times I could reread something I've written and make changes. It's normal. It happens. I try to remind myself it's because I'm constantly learning, and each pass represents my best at that time. It's all good. Make the corrections you feel are needed. That may get you a step ahead when your agent wants revisions!
I've done this soooo many times and it's never worth it. I feel for you!
I had to laugh aloud at this! I hate to say how many times this has happened to me, lol. I expect it will happen yet again!
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