You fail only if you stop writing. ~ Ray Bradbury
So, the good news first: I got some great constructive feedback from an agent. Here’s what she said:
“I found Ally to be a likeable protagonist that girls will connect with. You present her to the reader in the first person and much of the narrative is Ally’s stream of consciousness, which helps the reader to really get to know her and understand the good intentions behind her thoughts and actions.”
Now the bad news:
“I felt that too much of your story is told through Ally’s thoughts rather than being shown through her actions.”
Now for the worse news: it was embedded within a solid rejection. Oh, well. This was actually the first query I sent out, so I count myself lucky to get some real feedback. She basically said that my narrative framework needed work. I think it goes back to that old stand-by, Show-Don’t Tell. So, although it’s not easy to hear, I at least have something solid to go on as I revise. I plan to sit down with my manuscript and highlight everywhere my protagonist thinks about something. Then I can decide if I could show it through some sort of action instead. My daughter suggested this and it sounds like good advice. I am also going to give some long, hard thought about using the first person framework in general. Maybe there is something better.
Of course, I would like to hear that what I wrote is wonderful and perfect, but that’s not very realistic, is it. Everyone said this would be hard. Apparently they were right, damn it. Ok, I need to get back to my revision, so I’ll finish this quickly. Actually, right now I need to get back to planning for the evening class I teach tonight at the community college. Curse you, day job! At least I have one, though. My writing is certainly not paying the bills yet.
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? In this case, I hope it makes me a stronger writer. If you are sitting in a similar position, I’m sending you all my best thoughts/mojo. Good luck!