Yesterday afternoon I discovered the opening chapters could not be edited down any more. The rewritten, shortened synopsis was complete. Time to start selling.
I've almost given up hope on Favourite Agent. Although she hasn't said no, she's still being reticent so time to move on. I had the name of an agent another had referred to, and the name of an agent at an agency some friends were at. So I went to Everyonewhosanyone for their e-mail addresses. Scrolling down I found a friendly note from an agent saying she welcomed e-mail submissions. I wrote a query e-mail, pasted the synopsis and off it went to 4 agents. Two replied immediately, the first saying it sounded interesting and to send the first 3 chapters, preferably hard copy. The other (from e-mail friendly discovery) said it sounded really interesting and could I e-mail the whole novel.
Slight problem. I said I was nearing the end of the final draft but I'm not actually there yet. So I wrote back and said I had a bit more work to do and would get it straight off to her as soon as it's done. She e-mailed back again and said thanks, she's looking forward to it. So now it's full steam till the end. In between clearing up outstanding Guardian pieces today, I spread all the chapters out in hard copy and clipped a page to the front of each. I've been through the synopsis in detail, marking up each chapter with additional bits that aren't there yet. I've been through each and every character and nailed their speech patterns and made a master-page of notes. Now it's through to the end. See you on the other side.
Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.