Part 2 - getting close
I posted earlier about how to bring your A-GAME, which can be found HERE. Now that you've brought your A-GAME, here are some signs it's working.
Maybe you're on your first ms, maybe this is your sixth. We are all at different stages. So, how do you know when you're getting close to landing that dream agent? Here are a few signs.
You've queried several agents and gotten a few full requests. You get your first response from an agent with your full ms and it goes a little something like this:
Dear wonderful writer,
Thank you so much for giving me an opportunity to review your work. While I thought your writing was great, I just didn't connect with this story as much as I had hoped. This is a very subjective business, so don't take it personal. I would like to invite you to send me any future works for consideration.
You enter a contest and DON'T make it, BUT several writers contact you on twitter or your blog to say how much they loved your entry and all of the sudden you have several new writer friends who are also "fans".
You get your first R&R. This is a huge step in the right direction and a big flashing light that says: YOU'RE ALMOST THERE, JUST A FEW MORE FEET.
You enter a contest and YOU MAKE IT IN!!!
Now, not just writers are noticing you, but authors, editors, and agents are noticing your tiny little 35-word pitch and opening 250 words out of hundreds! If you can catch their eye with such few words, this is a major sign that says: YOUR WRITING IS SO, SO CLOSE. Heck, your writing might even be ready for an agent. It might simply be putting yourself out there for that 'right pair of eyes at the right time' kind of thing.
Here's a little side note about myself. I entered PitchMadness back in Dec. I wasn't Brenda Drake's first pick, BUT I was in her top three out of who knows how many entries. After the contest was over, AND I DIDN'T GET A SINGLE REQUEST FROM AN AGENT, Brenda sent me an email to tell me how much she loved the premise of my MG ms and if I didn't snag an agent by the time she was done with edits on her ms, she would read my entire ms and crit it because she believed in my story and me that much!!! I wasn't her top pick. I didn't get any requests from agents. But I stood out.
These things are how you know you're THIS CLOSE.
So don't give up. Don't lose heart. You've come this far. Your writing has improved leaps and bounds and you're getting noticed. Walk on with your bad self.