So you think your manuscript is ready to go out to agents? Has it been read and critiqued by a few trusted readers/writers who are not afraid of giving you their honest opinion? If not, then you may want to hold off on sending your baby out to the world until it is.
Critique partners are worth more than gold to an author, published or not. A good one will tell you what works and what doesn’t. (S)he will pick out the flaws, the holes in your plot. (S)he’ll tell you whether your dialogue works or if your characters are flat. Sometimes the comments may hurt. They may seem crass but if you set aside your pride for a bit and look at what the person is telling you, you may find what (s)he said is right. Wouldn’t you rather have your critique partner tell you these things than get one rejection after another and not know why?
I used to get really upset when I’d get bad reviews or critiques but each one of them made me strive even harder to find what I did wrong and strengthen what I did right. To each one of you who whipped my MS into shape, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
At present my ms is with two critique partners. They have both been ruthelessly kind and have found minor holes in my story I hadn’t seen before. Without them, my ms would have gone out to agents and probably been rejected. With my two readers helping me, my chances of being accepted by an agent increases ten-fold. I can’t thank them enough for their time and their matter-of-fact style.
So, before you send out that ms of yours to agents, get a few extra eyes to look over it. You’ll be glad you did.