Because, you know, I was ready. Heh.
I found an agent who was looking for my book. She didn't know it, but I had EXACTLY what she wanted. I planned to do a read-through, catch grammatical errors and misspellings, and send my manuscript on it's merry way to the bestsellers list.
Thankfully, at about the same time, I met my first critique partner, Christine. If you don't know her, go check her out NOW. My words can wait. She's brills for reals, guys. (I just made that up. Is it funny to anyone else?) More on the awesomeness that crit partners are later, but to sum up, after I sent her some of my perfect story, she very kindly but very firmly sent me back a "This isn't working." It wasn't ready yet. I had a lot of changes that needed to be made.
Since then, my first draft has been relegated to the File of No, where all first drafts belong. And even though it's painful to read now, I'm glad to be able to see all I've learned since I wrote it. Hopefully, I'll know when I'm ready to query for real someday.
So, compliments of my first draft (and a few other stories), here are signs your manuscript isn't ready to be queried:
- Your own mother doesn't even finish reading the entire draft.
- It starts with waking up.
- Your protagonist has to look in the mirror and reassess that she still has sparkling blue eyes just a shade darker than the Mediterranean, white-blonde, wavy hair with that one crazy kink by her right ear, and the slight dimple in her chin.
- The climax is a very earnest discussion with the antagonist where everyone politely agrees to disagree.