There's no end
to the things you might know, depending how far beyond Zebra you go! {Dr. Seuss}

Friday, March 23, 2012

Step Up to the Plate!

In baseball you only get three swings and you’re out. In rewriting, you get almost as many swings as you want and you know, sooner or later, you’ll hit the ball.
{Neil Simon}
Baseball season starts next week, woohoo!!! Last year for the letter B during the April A–Z Challenge, I wrote about how humanity’s most valuable skill–writing, obvs!–compares to the popular summer pastime. Since I can’t use the same B is for Baseball post for this year’s challenge, I’m going to share it again today! Get excited for baseball and writing:
In the Dugout
You’re writing your novel. Sometimes you’re off to the side, alone, avoiding other people, focusing on the task at hand. And sometimes you want to be with your teammates, your writing partners, to cheer each other on and pat each other’s bottoms (okay, maybe that’s only in sports) and hear them encourage you to keep it up, that you’re going to win it all.
Step Up to the Plate
You’re ready to query. You research agents and narrow it down. You write the query. You send it out… 
Strike One
You send the same query to the same four agents…meaning one of the letters had the correct name and the other three didn’t. Oooops. 
Strike Two
You misspell an agent’s name who doesn’t even accept your novel’s genre. Double oops.
Strike Three
You’re querying though you haven’t actually started writing the novel yet. Triple oops. 
No worries, you get other chances at bat later! You step up to the plate with a completed, revised-multiple-times novel, a properly researched list of agents’ guidelines, and a polished concise query… 
Ball 1
You hope that no news means good news is forthcoming.
Ball 2
An agent declines but sends you an email with a couple lines of encouragement. You dare to hope.
Ball 3
An agent asks for a partial.
Ball 4
The agent likes what she read so far and asks for the full! You jauntily jog to…  
First Base
The agent declines the MS, but suggests an agent friend who might be interested. You head on over to…
Second Base
The other agent declines your MS, but you’ve already received a full request from another agent. You run to…
Third Base
The second agent believes your novel has potential but several things aren’t working quite right yet. She suggests some changes and invites you to submit it again. You make a running dive into… 
Home Plate
The agent is pleased with those initial changes! She wants you to sign with her!!!
{AND SINCE THINKING POSITIVELY OFTEN LEADS TO AMAZING RESULTS} 
You hit a SINGLE
All of the agents you queried want a partial!
You hit a DOUBLE
Half the agents you queried want a partial and the other half requested a full!!
You hit a TRIPLE
All the agents you queried want to see your full manuscript!!!
You hit a HOME RUN
Your favorite agent read your partial and immediately wants to sign you!!!!
You hit a GRAND SLAM
Your favorite agent doesn’t even need to see your novel!! She wants to represent you based on your incredible query!!!!
Baseball is like writing. You can never tell with either 
how it will go.
{Marianne Moore}
Do you like baseball? Which team do you root for? I’m a Phillies Phan!!

HAPPY DREAMING AND HAPPY WRITING, Zigzaggers! 
My 2 Year Blogiversary is March 29 and I’m having a giveaway! Click here to check it out and enter!

18 comments:

SA Larsenッ said...

Another sports/writer fan!! Yes. I like looking at the writing game like a sport. Makes me feel more competitive. :D

Great post!

Julie Dao said...

Yesss! I'm also a baseball fan looking forward to the start of season. What a terrific analogy, Laura! I've been on the bench for a long time... couple years, in fact. This year will be the year I come to bat!

Matthew MacNish said...

What a great analogy!

Tara Tyler said...

excellent work.

but i dont know if i will ever get to first, nevermind a grand slam!

have a great weekend!

Faith E. Hough said...

Oh, I love this analogy!
I'm one of those root-for-the-underdog folks: a Pirates fan. My unrealistic sense of hope is probably what makes me a good writer, too... ;)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Love that, Laura!

Back in the days of Ryne Sandberg, I fell in love with the Cubs. They'll never win, but I don't care.

Rachna Chhabria said...

"Baseball is like writing. You can never tell with either
how it will go." I completely agree with this thought :)

Journaling Woman said...

Yay! The more you practice the better you are. I used to tell my kiddos that.

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Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That was a great post from last year! Take it there's no stealing bases, huh?

Madeleine Maddocks said...

LOL! This is one of mine: You hope that no news means good news is forthcoming.

Jolene Perry said...

Mariners all the way - but I'm biased because I love Seattle and go there as often as I can.

Great ananlogy - BTW.

I half-heartedly queried a few women's fiction projects that were nowhere ready (only I didn't know it at the time) So. Strikeout.

My first REAL round of queries, got me to third base, but not further.

my second was . . . I don't know - a Grand Slam. I got offered rep 5 days after sending out queries for my new project - both agents that offered rep DID read my MS, though, lol

SO - I got to sample lots before signing.

Emily R. King said...

Awesome! I'm not even a baseball fan, and I enjoyed this.

Thanks for the pep talk, coach!

Laura Marcella said...

Sheri- Sports analogies with writing are some of the best!

Julie- Go, Julie, Go!! You can do it!!

Matthew- Thank you!

Tara- No one ever really knows, but it sure can happen!

Faith- It happens with all teams: those on the top eventually go to the bottom, and those at the bottom eventually get to the top. The Pirates won't be underdogs forever!

Diane- Like I said to Faith, in sports those at the bottom eventually get to the top!

Rachna- Yes, I love that quote!

Teresa- That's absolutely true!

Alex- LoL, nope. Hard work and maybe a little luck gets success!

Madeleine- I totally hear you!

Jolene- That makes sense! I grew up around Philadelphia so of course I root for all the Phils teams. Sounds like you've had a lot of success because you stepped up to the plate! Good for you and congrats!!

Emily- Hello and welcome to Wavy Lines! I'm glad you enjoyed it. That's the great thing about sports analogies with writing: even if you're not into the sport, it somehow works! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I enjoy a good baseball game. We use to go to at least one game a year. All this talk makes me want to go again. I don't really have a favorite team, but there's nothing like eating a hot dog and singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" with a group of like-minded people.

Susanne Drazic said...

Cool analogy. I'm a baseball fan. Detroit Tigers. Woot woot!

Laura Marcella said...

Kathi- My husband and I go to one or two games a year, too. It's always a fun time!

Susanne- Thanks! I'm excited for the official season to start. Nothing says summer time like baseball!!

DL Hammons said...

So what does a sacrifice bunt equate to? :)

Laura Marcella said...

DL- No idea. I don't like the sacrifice bunt during the game! It's boring, it's a copout, and I've seen it backfire horribly. So I refuse to equate it to writing, LoL. :)