Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Can I Send Out Queries Before My Nove Is Finished?

Johnnie writes:

"I'm currently working on a crime-drama and although I've mapped out exactly what I want to do I'm taking my time with writing, rewriting, and editing. I would like to send out some feelers to see if the idea is attractive to agents, but I'm worried they may ask for the completed novel straight away.

Is it ok to send out queries, then follow up with a synopsis and a few chapters with the promise of completing the book? Or do agents not like it when you are still working on a novel as you're in contact with them? Thanks."

I answered:

"I thought I was through with my story despite my 5-6 readers telling me I wasn't. So I sent out 30 queries, the one bite I got said send the 1st 10 pages when the ms is "finished and polished." I stopped dead in my tracks. I finally had to accept that I was not done. I have much work to be done and have finally accepted that I will probably have to start over.

Bottom line is that you don't know what your story is going to be about until it IS finished. You can map out all you want, but as you write, things change. Your story is not about what you think it is about right now. Sooo, you would be lying if you sent out queries now.

All the best to you and all of you writers out there!"

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