Thank you Patrick (and your helpers) for this great site. I don't consider myself a shy person (or am I just fooling myself?) but I'm sort of quaking at the thought of how to introduce myself here. It seems like a big community!
I started querying May 31, 2011. I remember because a good friend gave me a June 1 deadline for submitting my first query. (Although this is my third YA novel, I'd never queried.) One of the agents I had my eye on was closing to queries June 1, so I queried the day before. I sent a few more queries out and got a good response rate, with two-thirds of the agents asking for more pages and half of those asking for fulls. All but one eventually passed, but I received a lot of helpful feedback. The one who didn't pass had 50 pages and--based on those pages (which I already knew had a pacing problem)--and my word count, she asked if I'd mind cutting 10-20k from my manuscript before sending her the full. I didn't mind because I knew the beginning didn't work and there was the pacing issue. So I stopped querying for five months, which is how long it took me to do the major revision.
I recently sent the mss to the agent who asked for it, and I started querying again. (And now I've joined Query Tracker pro--LOVE IT!). This time, however, at least so far, I'm not getting requests for pages. It's contemporary YA--no magic or creatures, etc--and I've heard that's a tough sell right now, especially for a debut author. I'm trying to work up the courage to post my query in the query feedback/help part of the forum. But I'm also feeling a little worried and freaked that I'm taking steps back instead of forward. (I can't believe I'm saying that because I KNOW writing--and life--is all about the forward/backward dance.) I guess I just haven't built up my thick "rejection hide" yet after coming back to querying.
Meanwhile, I'm writing something new--concentrating on plot, which feels like a weakness of mine--and it's different and I'm trying to remember to play. I look forward to getting to know many of you here. It's a little scary, though, that the forum is tracking the time I've been here...shouldn't I use that to write?
Good luck to you all!