From the past few weeks I have been lurking on and off on a site where writers share their query experience, and information about which agents reply fast and what is the response time from the other agents. This is all a part of my research to make a list of agents for my current work-in-progress. I want to target those agents who rep my genre and who reply.
The writers (most of them don’t go by their own names, they either have an avatar or a funny sounding name with no pictures) share their query feedback. I have figured out that there is something called a form rejection which many agents send. Then there are agents who say that if we don’t reply within a certain period of time consider it a pass.
And then there are a few agents who personalize their rejections by mentioning “Dear so and so” and also mention the name of the manuscript and the main character and in a few sentences let the writer know what worked for them in the sample pages. I have only admiration for such agents who take the time and effort to give suggestions.
It’s this point that has me reading wide-eyed. Every manuscript amasses a wide range of feedback, each bit contrary with what another has said.
If we writers were to follow every bit of advice, then I think we would be having atleast half a dozen drafts of each of our manuscripts. I wonder how those writers cope with so much contrary feedback. If one agent has liked the setting, the other one says “I wasn’t taken in by the voice,” then the third one says “I didn’t feel a connection with the main character” and the fourth one says “I didn’t fall in love with the story.”
OMG, I went nuts reading all the suggestions and advice. I am wondering whether I can handle all this. I am seriously rethinking whether I even want to put myself through all this. Rejections are bad enough, but when it comes with an avalanche of feedback that can put a writer in a puddle of confusion, its scary. At the back of my mind there are doubts about how much is true and how much is because a disgruntled writer cannot accept rejection?