Had a horrific day at work today. I have never been so close to tears of anger as I have been today. I think I was more upset with the fact that I am not allowed to retaliate or defend myself when potential students or their parents are rude to me, but I should just have said my say and have had them fire me. I think I would have been happier but that would probably look bad on my CV, seeing that I wouldn't be able to use them as a reference.
Anyway, I finally finished the 2011 Guide to Literary Agents and it was a wonderful and insightful book, not to mention very helpful, seeing that I get tons of New Agencies I can possibly query. So I would recommend it to anyone who needs more help with their writing or who needs a more detailed lay out of how things work in the world of publishing. I will definitely do a bit more research and tweak my manuscript before querying again. I also read about agent pet peeves and I am guilty of a few things, for example:
Starting a scene with someone waking up from the sound of the alarm clock.
Having a bit too much narrative which tends to make the novel read slowly.
Not having a good balance between showing and telling.
Repetitive words or sentences. (Big problem for me).
Too much pointless dialogue.
As you see I picked up quite a lot of things. I also rewrote my whole first chapter and it is almost just as terrible as my original first chapter. I also decided to rewrite my query letter and synopsis. I am definitely doing something wrong (besides that my first chapter sucks). Because there were a few agencies who just wanted a query letter, no synopsis or sample pages allowed and I wasn't even requested to provide a synopsis or anything afterward. So I am thinking that maybe my query letter isn't polite or professional enough. Apparently agents like queries where one's personality shines through and perhaps I give off the vibe that I don't have one or perhaps I come across as being too dull.
Anyway, I talk to much. Have a wonderful day and best of luck with which endeavours you attempt.