Yes, you have managed to finish that manuscript which might be the next Dan Brown, or Stephanie Meyer. Well, congratulations. The next thing that might on your mind would ordinarily be to start querying literary agents with your work immediately so that they will jump at the thought of representing your literary masterpiece.
Yes, please don’t.
It is OK that you have crafted a stunning story; my piece on how to write good fiction might come in handy here. To you, your work might be the next greatest thing on Earth since Stephen King signed Carrie, but I can tell you that your manuscript has got a lot of work remaining for you to do after you have crafted that masterpiece. First things first: you simply pull yourself away from your laptop_I ordinarily assume you have one since we are in the information age. Doing this will create some physical and emotional and mental distance away from that manuscript in order for you to think.
Are you a short story writer? If yes, then now might be the time for you to craft your latest short story for submission to one of the myriad international literary magazines that throng the Internet. And if it will be of any help to you, then you can look at this post about how to write good fiction in order to glean one or two tips about the craft of writing. If you what you want to write about borders on relationships, then you have to note how relationships work in order to make it all more believable.
Days, weeks_if possibly, months_later, then you can come back to your newest full-lenght masterpiece and take another crucial look at it. Read it as if you were not the person that wrote it; read it as if you were a college professor trying to look for ways to make sure that a student does not get an A. let the critic in you swim to focus at that moment; that is when you will see a lot of blunders you made during the course of the writing process.
See also: The Eight Beatitudes for Lawyers: Lessons from Lincoln which details something about resilience in the quest to become the best. It might be useful to you as a writer.
For my own self-published erotic saga The Wedded Whore, I finished the original draft of the manuscript in 2010; do you know when I went back to it? 2013. yes, I know that might sound like a lot of bullshit; perhaps it is. But this will help you to see a lot of mistakes both in the sentence construction and the storyline itself that you did not see when you were crafting the original story.
For my own self-published erotic saga The Wedded Whore, I finished the original draft of the manuscript in 2010; do you know when I went back to it? 2013. yes, I know that might sound like a lot of bullshit; perhaps it is.
You can decide to start submitting to agents immediately you finish the work, but chances are that the manuscript still needs a lot of work and you will most likely be turned down. A lot. Gertrude Stein_one of the greatest literary gems of her own time_was turned down by a rejection letter so brutal that even I downloaded a copy of the scanned letter and have it on my laptop for reference. You might get lucky and be signed on by the very first literary agent you sent your manuscript to; Nigerian writer Helen Oyeyemi was that lucky to have been signed on by Robin Wade when she was still working on the rough draft of the manuscript. You might lucky too_chances are, you won’t, however.
This post about query letters might prove to be a gem to you in your quest.
That query letter will have to be crafted to perfection, or else, all the agents you query will either send you a form rejection letter or ignore you altogether.
But don’t let that deter you. If you are in the game for the lone haul, you have to get used to rejections; you have to learn to love them and deal with them the way you would a loved one.
Love, Ani Ugochukwu Kingsley
Disclaimer: This post, appearing on this blog and elsewhere on the Internet, is meant for information purposes only. It does not create any legal relationship between the writer and the reader. All Rights Reserved.
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Until you get that dream agent, happy writing!!!!