Here's the thing, if you want to go the traditional route to publishing, there's this small technicality between a completed novel and the publisher of your dreams.
Veteran novelists, stop wailing. You're scaring the new kids.
Okay... so honestly, it's more than a tiny technicality. It's... well... Honestly?
Querying is a bitch.
It's about being told no again and again despite the fact that agents keep saying they want what you have. And then they don't even tell you why. You don't even get to ask.
Then I'm not even talking about the absolute agony of drafting the query letter in the first place. You see, you can do what you want. 250 words will never do justice to your story.
And more often than not, you'll have one shot at catching that agent's assistant's attention.
Basically, what I'm telling you is this. Querying is like going into Category 5 hurricane with an umbrella. What you don't want is to query with an unfinished novel.
And no, you definitely don't want to query a first or second draft. You want to go querying with the absolute best you have to offer. In other words, a story you can't imagine editing again. And the best query letter you can write.
Without those, you haven't a hope.
Any other query tips for a new novelist?