Monday, March 25, 2013

First Five Pages Workshop Success Story - Laura Tims

I’m so lucky to be able to say anything about my success story here, since I’m lucky to have a success story at all! A couple years ago, I finished my first book, and I felt so bad about it that I only sent out five queries, all of which were rejected. I had no idea how other writers produced the shiny, practically flawless manuscripts that got snapped up by agents. When I did figure it out, I was so surprised by how simple the answer was – feedback! I’d been too shy about my first book to really ask for much, but when I finished my second, I roped an amazing group of beta readers. I got tons of help with my query on AbsoluteWrite. And the First Five Pages Workshop, which is one of those things you can hardly believe exists because it’s so helpful (the first five pages are so important!) made me confident enough in my beginning to start querying with gusto.

My querying journey took about a month, and at the end, I had six offers of representation from six truly wonderful agents. This happened before I was really used to the idea that I could get even a partial request. I’m pretty sure my head fell off for a while. All I could think about was how incredibly LUCKY I was.

And then I realized—it wasn’t luck at all! It was the people who were willing to take their own time and energy and put it into my project. Without them, I’d be back on square one. So that’s the best advice I can give—find people you trust and admire to read and critique your book, put your material out there, and if you happen across something as awesome as the First Five Pages Workshop, jump on it!

The writing community is seriously full of people who want to help, who want you to succeed. If you’re feeling uncertain as a writer, the best thing you can do is connect with other writers, because they’re some of the most caring people I’ve ever met. (And the funniest, and the most outgoing…whoever decided writers had to be taciturn wallflowers has never been on Twitter.)

And, of course, have faith in yourself! Because if anyone else can do it, so can you. :)

Want to know more?

Laura's got a great post up here where she shares the query letter that got her representation as well as a lot more information.

And here's the link to her workshop entries:

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