Be a good Girl Scout

Yes, that goes for you gents, too. Be prepared because you never know what is going to slam up against your melon. Being prepared means that your manuscript is ready to go. You’ve rewritten and edited no less than a thousand times, your query has been finessed over and over again until you see the letter in your sleep. And your synopsis is complete.

You want to be prepared because you want to be the shiniest fishing pole trolling our pond. It shows organization and professionalism. I don’t give a swamp donkey’s hiney if you’re a new writer, but I do mind a newbie writer. Newbies give me wrinkles, and at forty twelve I hardly need an excuse for creases on my mug.

The newbie writer is the one who says:

  • This isn’t my final draft, so can you wait for me to rewrite this? (If I ask for pages, I assume you are READY to submit, and that means submitting only your best work, not your half-assed attempt)
  • I don’t have my synopsis written yet, can you give me a few days? (Sure. No problem. Take all the time you want ‘cos I probably will have moved on)

Sure, I realize I sound like I’m a cranky pants, but if authors could see how cluttered our desks and inboxes are with hundreds of queries, I’m sure there would be a parting of the clouds. Since we are inundated with so much talent, we have the luxury of looking at the very best. It takes a shiny fishing rod with the coolest hooks to attract all us fishies, and that means selling yourself by using the best stuff in your arsenol.

Can you imagine going to Restaurant de la Fussy and paying fifty bucks for a lobster dinner only to disover that that clarified butter came from ol’ Bessie whose claim to fame is cranking out cottege cheese, and the lobster used to be the hit man for the Shark family? You go to fine restaurants expecting the best ingredients. The same holds true for queries. If you aren’t a good Girl Scout and aren’t prepared, then I know you aren’t using the best ingredients. And using the best ingredients takes time and practice. If I want McDonald’s, I’ll send the beagle for takeout.

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