A little time; a lot of information
I spent an hour in Borders last night looking at all the current and best-selling fiction. Most of my time was spent in YA, reading the first few pages, back covers, publishers, page count, etc. Then I moved on to the publishing section and tried to read whatever I could on the business of querying. It was a good hour! I left with a copy of the Writer's Digest special issue on how to get an agent. Lots of really good information in there.
But the best thing I read last night was for free. Someone on Absolute Write wrote about how their novel kept getting rejected, and a meeting with an agent at a conference told her why: her main character is too old. Apparently agents will not touch a story with a college age MC. Of course, that's what mine is—Emma's 18. Or she was 18. I changed her to 17 this morning without hesitation. I was going to make her 17 when I first started writing the book anyway, so it's not a big deal. Emma is now 17 with a birthday coming up. It actually makes more sense to me and I really like the change! And if it helps, then yay.
I also bought chocolate. You know how Borders is—they trap you in that weird lane and surround you with tons of impulse items: little toys, cool bookmarks, pretty journals, sparkly pens, Twilight stuff, cookbooks with great pictures, Burt's Bees products, and tons of chocolate. But it was good. The chocolate. Yes.