Every year in May, Brenda Novak holds an auction of all things writerly for diabetes research. One of the categories is agent critiques. Agents — probably 100 participate — offer some type of critique service for auction. (The most common, I would guess, is a query, three chapters, and a synopsis but it varies greatly from agent to agent.)
I won an auction for a critique of three chapters and a synopsis from agent Loretta Barrett. I polished up my submission and submitted it. Last week Loretta’s assistant e-mailed me to say they had everything and would be getting back to me this week. On Monday, she e-mailed to say she had Loretta’s dictated notes, and she would type them up and get them to me tomorrow.
Imagine my surprise when I got a call from the 212 this morning!
Long story short, she loved my partial and wants the full when it’s done. That was extremely validating, because she’s the first publishing insider to give me feedback on the pages. She said she liked my style — again, nice to hear. This is my first novel, and I’m the first to say that prose fiction is tough for me. It’s good to hear that I’m going in the right direction though.
She had her assistant send over the comments, but she said that had I not won the auction (and paid for the critique), she wouldn’t give the feedback at this stage. She said she didn’t want me to stop writing and try to address her concerns. I read through the comments, though, and there was really nothing there that concerned me. I’m happy to say that everything she hoped would be fully explained later, is. She had one concern about the opening chapters that I’ve heard before — and worried might be true. So I’ll definitely address that.
Overall, the conversation was extremely positive and left me floating on air!
Now I just wish this work project was over so I could concentrate on the novel instead of working overtime.