Saturday, November 29, 2014
When to Send an Agent Your NaNoWriMo Novel by Rachel Brooks
With November and NaNoWriMo coming to a close, first drafts of new novels are being finished worldwide. This is exciting! The community and support system of participating in NaNoWriMo is fantastic, and if it’s a system that works for you, then great.
But some writers forget the FIRST DRAFT aspect and query too soon.
This first draft version of your novel is NOT what agents want to see in their inbox. Some important steps that still need to be accomplished include:
-Letting your manuscript rest before you come back to it with fresh eyes
-Feedback from critique partners and/or beta readers
-Potential repeat rounds of resting, feedback, etc.
-Final read-through, polishing up
While every writer’s process is different, and every story’s journey unique, it is universally true that these steps above take time. This means even if you and your CPs work quickly, by nature of letting something rest, getting feedback, making changes, and incorporating them so they feel organic, it cannot be done in a few weeks.
I hesitate to give a blanket statement of “Agents don’t want to see your NaNoWriMo until X months later." I do think it can be rather safely assumed that most would say not in the same year you wrote it. This is because that would mean you accomplished all of the next steps above in one month—December—then researched agents and began querying all within thirty days. And this probably means you didn’t let the manuscript “rest” either.
It’s hard not to rush, especially coming off the excitement high of NaNoWriMo. But in the long run, patience is such a huge part of the writing and publishing process anyway, taking your time will benefit both you and your project. Self-publishing, indie publishing, and traditional publishing will all still be there when your novel is truly ready.