I’ve just done something I hope I won’t regret later, and right now I’m a hot, second-guessing mess.
I’d been trying to pitch my story, The American, for months. I was ready to give up. Then, last September, out of the blue I got a request for a full from an agent I’d queried the previous May with the first three chapters. Of course, I immediately sent her the full.
It’s been three-and-a-half months. Almost four, actually. And for the past few weeks, different options have been swirling, turning, fighting through my head:
(a) Maybe you should nudge her. But what if she hasn’t read it yet? You don’t want to be seen as pesky. But what if she’s forgotten about it? It’s not even in the Sludge Pile from Hell, it’s in the Invisible, Digital Sludge Pile from Hell! You need to nudge her to remind her that she has your
heart and soul on a platter manuscript. But what if she hates the ending? It’s that cliffhanger, and other people thought you killed off your MC, but she wasn’t dead! But the other way it was too long. That’s okay, though, right? Cliffhangers are okay, right? You blogged about it and people reassured you that cliffhangers are just fine… sometimes…. Oh, crap!
(b) Maybe you should nudge her with the query to the sequel. Yeah, that way she’d know that the MC isn’t dead, and that you have more to offer as a writer. But what if she isn’t looking to deal with a series? I mean, series are so cliche. Everyone’s got a series right now. You don’t want to be seen as “one of those writers.” But what if she is interested? Um, that might be a problem, though, because you haven’t finished the sequel. In fact, you’re thinking right now that maybe you should go back to tacking-on what you have, and making it into the end of the first story, and making it a 500-page book. Is that just because you’re lazy and you don’t want to write? Wow. You lazy slack-ass.
(c) Maybe you should do nothing and just wait. Because you don’t want to be a pesky-pill. I mean, she’s probably super-busy. Wait, of course she’s super-busy! She’s an agent! And you’d be like an annoying fly buzzing around her head. And we just had Christmas and everything. And before that was Thanksgiving, and everyone gets super-busy around the holidays. Then again, what if she already read it? What if she hated it? What if she hated it so much that she just deleted it and forgot to send you a rejection e-mail? Yeah, that’s probably what happened. She probably already hated it and rejected it in her mind, and if you nudge her, she’ll be all like “Who?” and then she’ll have to send you an apology email rejection, and you’ll feel absolutely horrible about yourself, and it will be just awful.
The problem with fighting with yourself, though, is that nothing actually gets done. So today, right or wrong, I came up with a solution. Maybe a bad one, but at least I did something. I sent her the following email:
Per your request, I had sent you my full manuscript for THE AMERICAN (An American girl must rely on a shady Australian tour guide to save her life after she stumbles upon a secret mining operation in China) on September 22. I don’t know whether you’ve had time to read it yet. However, I have an idea that I hope will pique your interest. I’d written a chapter that was intended to be the first chapter of THE AMERICAN’s sequel, AMERICAN PRISONER, but I’m thinking now that it might be better served as an epilogue-chapter to THE AMERICAN. I’ve included the 7-page chapter, below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Maybe this was a good idea, maybe a bad one. But I just couldn’t sit still any longer. Probably my manuscript will get rejected (again), anyway. At least I tried, though, right? *sigh!* Why are we writers so co-dependent?!?