For Better or Worse…


…it’s out there. Three years after I started this novel, my first query package has left my desk and zipped through cyberspace to the first agent’s inbox. Knowing that it’s there right now, waiting to be opened, makes me feel–quite honestly–violently ill.

Have you ever seen the movie Office Space? There’s a part where an employee who’d been embezzling funds from his company puts a letter admitting his guilt under his boss’ door. The letter slips from his hands and slides far into the room. He stands, enjoying a brief instant of satisfaction, and then dives back down in a panic, stretching his fingers under the door crack in a vain attempt to retrieve it. That’s how I felt when I hit the ‘Send’ button. Like I’d have done anything at that moment to pull it back. It’s not that I didn’t do my best, or feel that it wasn’t ready, it was just a knee-jerk reaction to finally stepping up and letting someone who could possibly alter my future have a look at it. It’s pretty scary, and I admire those of you who’ve already done it.

I’m having mini-daymares about the possible mistakes I overlooked. Earlier, when I went to make a minor correction and tried to write, ‘its,’ I ended up writing, ‘tits.’ Now I’m sitting here imagining an entire document peppered with the word ‘tits’ in random places. Very professional.

Since this is a firm that takes only online submissions placed in the body of an e-mail, I had to grapple with the loss of formatting, as well. I nagged a tech friend, I e-mailed him drafts saved in HTML, RTF, DOC and TXT. None would save my indents or my line spacing. At least TXT got rid of the strange line breaks. Then again, who knows what has happened to the submission on their end? Green text? A mishmash of lines without any breaks at all? Gibberish symbols in the place of em-dashes? I really cringe to think about what happened the minute my Mac tried to play nice with a PC. Then again, if online submissions are all they’ll accept, then they must have seen pretty much everything go wrong with formatting before, anyway.

As soon as I banish this bout of queasiness, I think I’ll go ahead and write up the full plot outlines of my next two books. It’ll take my mind off of things, and prepare me for my future — which now hangs in the hands of someone other than myself (Did you hear that? It was my stomach rumbling again). Plus, the final Harry Potter will be out next month — a welcome distraction for my obsessive mind.

It’s a weird feeling, this is. One that’s both elating and panic-inducing. But, at least I did it. I took my novel-in-progress, and, with a click, turned it into a novel under consideration.

That’s got to be worth something, right?

About Avery

I am a roller derbying, dark fantasy author. This blog chronicles my adventures in life, writing and skating. View all posts by Avery

10 responses to “For Better or Worse…

  • SQT

    I have a feeling we’re going to need lots of room under that rock.

  • Kate S

    CONGRATULATIONS! I’m so happy for you (and proud of you, too, if that makes sense.)What, you mean Dumbledore isn’t real?? Say it aint so!🙂

  • avery

    Charles — Thanks. That first step is a big one, too, isn’t it? It would’ve been so much easier to squat on that manuscript for another three years, pretending it still needs editing in order to avoid letting the important people read it. I suspect a lot of aspiring authors do just that.Sqt — I have that Dumbledore suspicion, too, but I avoid it just because it’s so obvious that I’d be very, very disappointed (in Rowling, but inwardly gleeful that he’s still alive) if that were the case. See? I just spoke about him like he’s a real person, too. Feel better? I’ll move my rock so you can crawl under, too.

  • SQT

    God, did I really talk about Dumbledore like he’s a real person?I need to get out more.

  • SQT

    See, I think Dumbledore might not really be dead. Totally cliche, but who knows.

  • Charles Gramlich

    Avery, you took the step you had to take, and you’ve proven you have the courage. Strength, my friend. Steve,’s right, it does get easier.

  • avery

    Steve — Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad to hear it gets easier. As for Snape, I’m on the fence. It would be easy for Rowling to have made it seem that he was acting under Dumbledore’s orders, even to the last. But, that would make Harry ultimately wrong. And, should that happen when Harry is the protagonist in a series where he’s pretty much ends up always right? Plus, it would be nice to see Harry realize Dumbledore was a human and not a god, that he was capable of making mistakes, even with something as serious as Snape’s purported conversion to the good side. So, I know what I would have done — Snape would be evil. But, I can’t say what Rowling has done. I guess I’ll have to wait and see with the rest of the world.Spy and Christina — Thanks much for the good wishes. I’ll be needing them.

  • Christina

    How exciting! I’ll keep my fingers crossed. We were just talking about rejection letters not to long ago. You might get a few, but I heard resending letters to the same agency sometimes gets you a chance as a request.

  • spyscribbler

    Good luck, Avery! I have my fingers crossed for you, for sure!

  • Steve Malley

    Hi Avery,Terrifying moment, that first sub. It gets easier, though. I did five subs at a time, so that I wouldn’t worry too much about any one. Which is good, because quite often, nothing I never did hear back…What do you think? Snape, good or evil?

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