For instance, my daughter and I didn't know what kind of cat were looking to adopt at the Humane Society. We just wanted a cute cat and we were going by gut-feeling. Ollie made the choice easy for us. As soon as he hopped onto my daughter's lap, I knew we'd be taking him home. However, in the time he was our pet, he never sat in our laps again. Go figure. That's a cat for you.
Eight years later, I was relying on the same gut-feeling when I returned to the shelter. Ollie had passed away and I was ready for another pet. The minute I saw Ozzie, it was love at first sight. His sad-looking eyes stole my heart.I felt the same emotional tug for one of my neighbor's pets. Upon meeting Beebee, I fell in love with her in a matter of seconds. Beebee is a furry cat that lives a few streets from our house. She's old, scruffy, and a bit deaf, but she is as sweet as pie and she lets me pet her soft thick coat. She greets me whenever I take a walk in the neighborhood. Beebee would be my pet if she didn't already have a home.
|My furry friend, Beebee |
Suffice it to say, I have definite preferences when it comes to cats. Which got me thinking that this may be how agents feel when they search through the slush pile. They are looking for something that grabs them. And the catch is, writers have to figure out what grabs an agent because it is an important part of the querying process. Luckily, many agents have profiles on the Manuscript Wish List, where they can express the kind of manuscripts they would like to acquire.
Even still, trying to match a manuscript with the specific taste of an agent is tricky. Not long ago, I sent an agent a humorous story about a cat because she said she was looking for funny cat stories. My manuscript was rejected. It's puzzling because I've sent her just what she was looking for. Or so I thought.
The whole submission process is so subjective and I can only guess that my manuscript didn't resonate with her. Which is probably for the best. If the agent doesn't get my work, then it could mean that we would have trouble working together on other manuscripts.
It never feels good getting a rejection, so I try to make myself feel better. I imagine that the agent has a Sphynx cat. Or a Russian Blue. Perhaps a Siamese. I cross her off of my list. Then it's back to querying other agents. One day, I'll find an agent who will get a certain je ne sais quoi that will make her fall in love with my manuscript. And that intuitive feeling will tell her this manuscript is something she must have and she can't live without.
✌ and ♥
Photo: Sphinx: Boredpanda.com