I'm fairly sure you get emails like this all the time, but I'm not really sure how to find my answer and thought I would ask you, if you don't mind. I'm almost finished writing my first book. I've got about 80% of the rough draft done and have the outline to finish the rest. I've been writing for the last five years and am now not sure of the next step(s) to take.
While I live in New York and have some friends who are writers, no one I know is a published writer or an agent. I know I shouldn't solicit people I don't know, but I don't know anyone! I don't have clips of articles or stories to send to someone; I don't have a blog (ugh-how much am I lamenting the fact that I didn't start writing a blog instead of a book?) and I really don't know how to begin approaching people or if I should until I have something to send them--is a synopsis and a few chapters enough?
Any advice you could offer or websites you could point me to would be much appreciated.
First, finish the book. Nothing else until then, ok? Don't even think about query letters, synopses or who you know till then. If you violate this instruction (since you live in NY) I'll track you down and let Killer Yapp demonstrate what expensive orthodontia looks and feels like.
Second, write the next book.
Third, using what you learned from writing the second book, reread the first book. Fix all those things you didn't see the first time.
When all that is done you may think about query letters. When you get to that point email me, and I'll give you the next three steps.
And stay off the writer's discussion boards. You don't need to do anything but write, read some good books and as much good poetry as you can find.
This process will take two years. Just accept that and do it. Yes I know you feel like five years is enough but it's not. Better to invest your time wisely NOW and have a better product to send me than jump the gun and shoot yourself in the foot. KY doesn't like the taste of a lead foot, so slow down.