alexandra alger


Archive for the month “August, 2014”

Nailing it

Querying: I used to think it was going to be no big deal once the time came. You tell the agent about your book in pithy, irresistible prose. How hard could that be?

Ha! I’m in revision hell. I’m finding terrible flaws in each query I sent out, but only a few days later. At the time of sending, it’s perfect: well written (pithy!) and error-free. But it’s an illusion. A day or two later, when I reread it in order to congratulation myself on my fantastic query, I’ll discover it’s stiff sounding, or sort of meh; or there’s a typo.A typo! In one query, I had two “I”s in the first sentence. How did I not see that before? I have no answer. There is no justification, no explanation. Well, there is one, and it’s obvious: I’m a nervous wreck about querying.

Get over yourself, Alex. I keep telling myself this. Who isn’t a nervous wreck about querying? I’m going to take a step back and give myself time to rewrite without pressure.

Then I’ll just have to go with what I’ve got, because I’ll reach a point at which I’m not making the query any better. It’ll probably be unintelligible at that point.

I really have to stop making typos, though.

Not the Worst Novel Ever Written

I finished my book. At least I think I have. And what makes me think so is I rewrote the beginning, and I actually like it. After countless, and I mean countless, revisions. Turns out I needed to come to the end to know how to begin.

Unless I’m deluded, and it really doesn’t work.


Now that it’s time to send my baby out into the world, I’m wracked with doubt. Maybe it’s not ready. Does the plot build on itself, are there enough twists, do they catch the reader by surprise or do they seem forced? What crucial details about plot or character have I left out, having read and reread and edited and reedited so many times I’ve lost all objectivity?

My writing group of three talented women will not read another word. They want me to SEND IT OUT.

I’ll just have to wait and see what agents say. Or don’t say, since some of them (many of them?) only respond if they are interested in seeing more of your work.

I feel better when I remember former agent Nathan Bransford’s words from his newish book on how to write a novel: “You can’t possibly go and write the worst novel ever written. It’s already been done.”

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