Isn't it the thing we all fear and anticipate? Don't we have such a love-hate relationship with it? Okay, maybe everyone else doesn't, but I sure do!
I told myself I wasn't going to query Novel 1 (still nameless!) until I finished draft 3, but I decided that it couldn't hurt to put out a few feelers now. What if I spend months endlessly polishing and quirking only to discover that an agent would have been interested in January? It's all part of my weird self-perception as a writer. Sometimes I think I suck so bad that I could never be published (sadly reinforced today when I read the Scribophile blog), and other times I think I'm pretty damn good and certainly a couple notches above the other unpublished writers. (Objectively, the former is more probable.)
Anyway, so I decided to send out some queries. I worked on a query letter and synopsis, I trawled the Agent Query website for agents that might be a good fit for my work. I hit "send" and logged it and knew I wouldn't hear back for weeks. To my surprise, I heard back almost immediately from most! (I sent out 5 feelers this time.) They were all form rejections.
Of course that was exactly what I was expecting, but a little part of me was hoping that I'd get some little tidbit to keep my spirits up, to feel like I could someday see my books on the shelf.
Anyway, really am going to finish draft 3 before I try to query again. Doing a readthrough of draft 2 right now, taking notes about things I want to change (on a big-ish scale, like adding new scenes or deepening a recurring theme) and am going to go back and finagle around. Then I can go back and do a line edit for stuff like "Does a comma really belong there?" and "This phrasing is awkward."
In the meantime, I'm still working on draft 1 of Novel 4. Sure, at the end of the year I'll probably have 2 full, unpublished manuscripts and nothing to do with either, but I'm not ready to give up yet!