So, I need to change the oil filter in my car, only, I don’t know how to change an oil filter. Internet sites dealing with this topic assume you already know something about cars. I’m definitely in unknown territory and will most-likely take my shiny new oil filter to someone who knows what they’re doing.
It made me think of how much info is out there for new writers. In a way, it’s good. In another, it’s still a little confusing. With so much info, it’s easy to get contradicting opinions. And when you’re sending off your first query and you want it to be perfect, contradicting opinions is the last thing you need.
I saw a person on one blog asking if the fifty pages an agent had requested needed to be double-spaced. Everyone exploded in the comments. “Of course it needs to be double-spaced!” They assumed she wasn’t ready for submission if she didn’t know this. She had a pretty good retort. Requested pages need to be double-spaced…except when they don’t. She cited an agent who wanted single-spaced pages. It just goes to show that there’s never an easy answer. There’s always an exception. And if you saw one agent asking for single-spaced pages, and you weren’t very experienced, it might just make you question whether double was the unspoken rule.
I’ve walked a lot of people through the submission process. I’ve been doing it a long time, and I hope I never just assume a new submitter has attained mystical knowledge about it. I hope I never jump down anyone’s throat. There’s so much knowledge out there to be processed, and sometimes, it takes a live human being to tell you that you’ve been looking at the wrong side of the car. The oil filter is actually underneath. I didn’t know that until someone told me.
Anyone got questions? Concerns? Bust them out. I really have been submitting for a long time. I’ve also been honing my craft in the meantime. If I can’t answer your submitting questions, I probably know a site that can.