Draft 6: Pre-Querying Jitters and Overthinking (Bonus: Book Challenge!)

Another week gone! I’m pretty pleased with my progress on this draft so far. Last week, I took a day off after reading through the manuscript. I needed a break after all of that. Then I mapped out my subplots, marking them with different colors on my scene cards (I know: way too organized). I’m not even using my scene cards or my revision notes, really, so all that feels like a waste of time.

Then I started the actual revision! I always feel a little like Theoden when I begin a new draft.

But it’s been all right so far. The usual has happened: I feel awful about some sections, and giddy about others. The good news is that I can tell the manuscript is getting better. I’m adding in more description, and breaking up chunks of dialogue (yes, I have the opposite problem: too much dialogue, not enough narrative!) with narrative. And, of course, revising sentences that are too telling. Basically, revising feels like this:

But it’s happening! Next week I’m going to start really, truly querying agents for the first time ever. I keep thinking about my manuscript: is it ready? Am I? What if they don’t like it? What if I didn’t do enough? What if I did too much, over-edited?

I just have to keep reminding myself: yes, manuscripts have to be good to get an agent. That’s a given. But they don’t have to be perfect. They only have to be as perfect as the writer can make them on her own. I just have to find the right agent for my book and we can work together in a glorious tag-team to make it perfect for editors and, someday, readers. Just one person has to be as excited about my book as I am (and some of my amazing critique partners, who apparently need it to be published NAO).

I hope I can find that person, because I love this book.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Okay! So I was tagged by my friend Eve Jacob (one of the aforementioned greedy critique partners ;D) in her Book Blogger Confessions post, so now I have to share some book confessions with you all! Eve was tagged by Daevone Molyneux (and you can follow them on Twitter here and here). Here goes…

1. Which book, most recently, did you not finish?

That’s a hard one, because I usually make an effort to finish every book I read. It’s an obsession, really. Even if I’m reading a terrible book, I have to finish it, or it will ruin my Goodreads challenges! Also, I’m at about 516 books on my Read shelf, and I love watching that number go up, up, up…

But if I had to choose, it would probably be Titanic Survivor, by Violet Jessop. I just didn’t have the time to finish it. Also, that was probably three or four years ago…

2. Which book is your guilty pleasure?

Another hard one! I still haven’t read the 50 Shades books (and probably never will), and I don’t like Twilight anymore, so there’s nothing in that area I can confess to. Hmm…

Yep, I’ve got nothing. Rain check?

3. Which book do you love to hate?

Definitely the Twilight series. It’s entertaining but just SO BADLY WRITTEN. So bad. And probably Wuthering Heights. It was amusing to complain about how awful every single character in that book is.

4. Which book would you throw into the sea?

My own? Haha, kidding! Again, probably Wuthering Heights. I want to go back and time and shake Emily Bronte by the shoulders. That’s how awful it is.

5. Which book have you read the most?

I read and re-read most of the Nancy Drew series throughout my childhood and adolescence, so probably those. I started reading those books when I was six! But I’m very picky: “Carolyn Keene” wrote all of them, but it was a collective pseudonym. Mildred Wirt Benson only wrote through The Thirteenth Pearl. Anything after that just isn’t the same, and I refuse to read them.

6. Which book would you hate to receive as a present?

Oh, man. Probably anything paranormal, because it’s so hard to do it right without it turning into a romance and/or love triangle. I don’t read much romance, as I’m sure you can tell, so really anything in that genre. (Except I do read Outlander. Go figure)

7. Which book could you not live without?

Fragile Things, by Neil Gaiman. And The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

8. Which book made you the angriest?

Wuthering Heights, obviously. UGH. And possibly Fallen, by Lauren Kate. I don’t know what it was about that book, but I absolutely hated it. The story didn’t make sense to me, and I felt cheated when I dragged myself through to the end.

9. Which book made you cry the most?

I don’t cry at books that are supposed to make me cry. The Fault in Our Stars? Okay, I did, a little bit. Allegiant? Nope. But man, last summer I read a book on vacation that KILLED ME: If I Stay. My family and I were driving up to Tennessee for a vacation (about 8-10 hour drive), and I decided to read that on the way. I finished it all in one day, and it was amazing. Wow.

10. Which book cover do you hate the most?

I am so particular about book covers. (This is why my future cover designer will hate me. Okay, not really. But still.) I’m trying to think of one that I really hate. There’s lots I dislike, and I will put a book straight back down if the cover is boring or ugly. That being said, I still don’t get the Twilight covers. I know, I know, picking on Twilight again. I can’t think of anything else, really.

Bonus: covers I really have loved over the past year or so.

  

I would like to tag Courtney Howe and Joanna Meyer in the book challenge! 🙂

-Jenna

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About Jenna

I am 24 years old, with a bachelor's degree in English. I am currently querying a YA fantasy about assassins and magical powers, and I'm revising another YA fantasy based on Mayan civilization!
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