Wednesday, November 07, 2018

It's drafty in here

I've requested about ten manuscripts in the last two months.

When I request a manuscript, I ask you to send it to me as an attachment.
That means you have to title it.

Here are some of the things I've seen recently in addition to the correct title and author name

final draft
(date) draft

and the one that sets my hair on fire:

First draft

When sending a manuscript to a prospective agent, don't shoot yourself in the foot.
Name the file: TITLE by author  (you)

Only exception: if the requesting agent asks you to call it something else.

Bottom line: avoid using the word "DRAFT" in your file name.

Any questions?
Honestly, why this isn't called Agent Tears Out Her Hair, I do not know


21 comments:

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I have about twenty drafts of my manuscript in a folder devoted to that book. I could see how an over-excited author might choose the wrong draft when getting a bite from the shark. Note to self "put finalized manuscript in its own folder for full and partial requests".

Good reminder.

Mister Furkles said...

But...but...what if it's a historical novel set during New York's 1863 Draft Riots.

Couldn't be "The Draft"

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Concerning other titles, would you write?
Mr. First Husband
Mrs. Former Wife
Ms. What am I really?
Miss Single and sad or happy and glad.

“Only exception: if the requesting agent asks you to call it something else.”
Title: First Draft
1778 to 1973 a first to final exploration regarding the historical significance of the military draft and has it ever really ended.

Sherry Howard said...

This is exactly why I don’t use draft #s for versions. I don’t put my name on any file names until final version, so if it has my name, it’s final. Although, final is n e v e r final.

french sojourn said...


In 1960, Tommy Mason played halfback for Tulane. His kid brother Jimmy was a numbers runner for Shark-tooth Thomson. In a back alley in South Boston a deal is brokered, Jimmy’s indiscretions are forgiven if he gets Tommy to play ball. Chosen in the first round, with the second pick, Tommy’s taken by the then Boston Patriots. When one mans word goes against a brother’s honor…The NFL, which stands for; Not For Long.

The final score is not always determined on the field.

FIRST DRAFT…out in bookstores in time for the Super Bowl.

Donnaeve said...

Janet - you ought to have known there would be those who would be clever and come up with creative ways to thwart that answer.

Of course I have to offer my own First Draft story.

"I was fifteen, underage, when I first tasted that golden, crisp beverage with a slightly malty flavor after sneaking into The Player's Retreat."

Shall I go on?

NO???

Colin Smith said...

So FIRST DRAUGHT is okay, then? ;)

Sam Mills said...

Yup yup my most current draft is always named the title. If I start another draft, the original gets renamed "[title] draft #" AND THEN ALSO gets dragged to a subfolder called "drafts"so there's no confusion. I have another subfolder called "query package" with all my bits and pieces of copy-paste email text.

BrendaLynn said...

So, THIS IS THE LAST ONE, PINKY SWEAR probably isn’t what I should have sent then?

Craig F said...

Lord preserve us an protect us
We've been drinking whiskey before breakfast

But then we stayed up all night wish'n pray'n and hop'n

I can see how it would happen, always check twice before crossing the street too.

Amy Johnson said...

There had never been a problem before …

Everything seemed perfect. After dinner, all the campers remained in the uninsulated mess hall for Macramé, then Song and Swaying.

No one could have foreseen it. Not this early. There was still another three weeks until the nudist camp closed for the season.

Suddenly, the sound of a roaring wind! Goosebumps! Shivering!

FIRST DRAFT

Janet Reid said...

You guyz (collective noun) crack me up.

Jennifer Mugrage said...

Amy Johnson ... I am dying laughing. Sounds like a great camp. Except for the nudity part.

Janet ... Are you telling me there are people out there who would send an agent a draft titled Draft, yet they were able to write a query and pages sufficiently professional and intriguing to garner a draft request?

Not sure if that is frustrating or inspiring.

NLiu said...

Adam grinned toothlessly, perspiration glistening in the sun.

"Come on girls, it can't be that hard. Just a little walk in a field, eh?"

Daisy and Dobbin eyed the makeshift plow with suspicion. Daisy flicked her tail and lowed. Dobbin kicked.

Seth suddenly wondered why Dad hadn't volunteered to ride the plow.

FIRST DRAFT

OT: Had the baby. It's a boy!

John Davis Frain said...

For our latest vacation to Disneyland, we took advantage of their Fast Pass system. When I got home, I stole--sorry, borrowed--their idea for my WIP.

Now I start on my Fourth Draft. Really cuts down on the editing. And even when you screw up, the worst you can do is send an agent your Fourth Draft.

Jennifer Mugrage said...

NLiu:
Really? Congratulations!!!

NLiu said...

Jennifer Mugrage: yes really! And thanks! He is utterly tiny and adorable. (My 3yo is utterly unimpressed. Her initial reaction: "Throw him in the bin, Mummy!" I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry!)

Beth Carpenter said...

NLui -- congratulations! Rest up and enjoy.

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...


NLui, Congrats for the baby and the feisty 3-year-old :)

Amy Johnson said...

NLiu: Congratulations! What an especially special time for your family!

Jennifer Mugrage: Thanks! Glad the story worked for ya.

NLiu said...

Thanks Beth, Cecilia, Amy. Sending you all virtual newborn cuddles!