Twas The Night Before Christmas, Writer Style

(With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, whom I have shamelessly ripped off).

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the land,
Writers were all cursing, “I do not understand!”
How am I supposed to know when to hit go?


All year I have edited, polished each word,
December is awful for queries I’ve heard.
With so much NaNo nonsense hitting agents desks,
Each new one is looking more and more Kafkaesque.


Then comes Christmas time, and so many will say,
Now’s no time for queries, agents are all away.
Out at bookish parties, full of festive cheer,
They won’t open their inbox, until the New Year.


But writers are eager to show off their book,
They must get an agent by hook or by crook.
So they work themselves up into a frenzied state,
They think tiny errors might be make or break.


Their betas will tell them, now start on something new,
Instead they surf the net, they must know what to do!
Should they submit now, or will it kill all chance?
These agents they lead us on a merry dance!


Everyone tells them now is not the right time,
To query agents, they’ll get lost in the line.
But what if this book is their Jack Reacher version?
That will cause the agent to have a conversion?


The book that will make her dance, and shout out with glee,
This is just perfect as a new novel for me.
It needs no more edits, it’s done and complete,
The deal it will do me will taste so darn sweet.


The writer checks forums, please say what is best,
Until she has queried she will get no rest.
Chill out and relax, there’s no right answer they say,
Still she keeps worrying through the whole of the day.


If I don’t query now, then when shall it be done?
I’ve heard in the summer they’re all out in the sun.
No agent’s at work, work’s no fun, it’s too hot,
The writer’s is really a confusing lot.


So many rules set out to trip them all up,
All they want is to drink from the publishing cup.
Can it really be true that just one errant word,
Is enough to get their agent dreams all deferred?


Desperately trying to tick all the boxes,
Will this be the manuscript that just outfoxes,
The vigilant intern who knows it’s their job,
To protect their boss from the writer’s lynch mob.


So now the writer, festively optimistic,
Redrafts the query showing their feats linguistic
It seems so stupid, idiotic, absurd,
To listen to all the strange stories you’ve heard.


About when to query and when you should not,
It matters little if your writing’s red hot,
If the prose is all tight, and the grammar is clean,
If you’ve checked every word, polished it to a sheen.


However there’s just one final thing to beware,
Even if your book fits their wish list and has flair,
Agents who say they are closed to all queries,
Should not be contacted and you should be leery!

About the author


Mainly nocturnal, Bats is no ordinary mammal. During her frequent roosting periods, she has ideas, which she'd like to turn into writing people will read. In the interim, she's practicing on you via the medium of this blog.


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