I painstakingly put the whole thing through a wringer, then mercilessly chopped, pasted, rewrote. That was the FIRST BIG REWRITE.
I was so proud! My story worked!
Er, say again?
I prematurely queried ten agents - not top picks. Well, most weren't. Guess what? TEN form rejections. No surprise there. But that was okay - I was just getting my feet wet...Wasn't I?
After submitting my first five pages to the folks at the QueryTracker.net forums, I began to grasp what was wrong.
Back to the drawing board. I became the Ruthless Reviser yet again, cutting 15,000 words and tightening the story, making the plot clearer. I read the whole thing out loud to my dogs and was pleasantly surprised when I found I enjoyed it!
So, I'm ready to hit the query trenches again... Except, what the hell is my book really about? Sure there's romance, there's a twist, there's a couple of immortal beings.... But the stakes are not high enough. There's a lot of conflict, but no CONFLICT. There's not a whole lot to lose that the character hasn't already lost before.
It seemed I wrote my entire novel without asking any QUESTIONS!!!
Don't know what I'm talking about?
So the new question is: Can I raise my stakes, or should I stake my novel? Hmm, I'm not sure my MC can be killed that easily!
Happy Question Asking! When in doubt...Just ask "WHY?"