I’ve found some totally awesome CP partners after my last post. It’s great having people I can talk to when I’m having issues writing. I’ve also managed to find a few Beta Readers, so we’ll see how the preemptive first round reads of Blood Moon goes. In the mean time I’m working on another project – this one more dystopain than Urban Fantasy. I’m still working out all the kinks. Some things figure themselves out as I write. If I spend too much time dwelling on a plot point or wondering what should happen next, I lose what should happen now – and what happens now, often gives me a clue as to what should happen next. As the process continues, I’m gaining more and more knowledge about writing and publishing. Especially the dreaded ‘Query’.
The query is generally about 250 words or less. This is what the writer pitches to the agent in hopes of swooning them into a partial or full manuscript request. There are even tons of competitions on places like Twitter where you can pitch a mini query and hope an agent favorites it so you can send them the full query or a manuscript. The query is important. It’s the first theatrical trailer of your novel in the book world.
Not everyone is going to be thrilled with it – and editing is going to be a must.
I tried my hand at my first query and it definitely needs work, but hey I’ve never written one before! In the process of this, I’ve found a few wonderful places to go for help on query and synopsis writing. Amazingly enough, I’m noticing that most authors have more of an issue writing a query or synopsis than writing the actual novel. Don’t get me wrong. It can make you want to shoot your computer or take it out to an open field and use a bat on it Ala Office Space and the evil copier. I believe phrases along the lines of:
“Whoever invented query writing is the devil.”
“Query’s are ways to additionally torture writers who have already pulled out half of their hair while revising their novel.”
and much worse have been said.
It’s not easy, but I find the process to be fun. It’s a learning experience. Frustrating at times – definitely frustrating, but still fun. It’s a chance to play with words and twists things around and broaden my writing strengths. I’ve already revised it a few times and have been lucky enough to have some great feedback from AQC. Remembering that the feedback are suggestions and learning from everything is key. Remembering that the first draft is almost always crap and needs to be revised is also a good thing. Writing takes work, and it’s more than just writing the story. The query is a pain in the ass – but learning it is worth it.
Oh! The websites.
Agent Query has a whole section on how to write a query – which if you’re new, it’s definitely worth checking out. This site also has a members forum where writers can post their own query, search for CP partners, find out about all different aspects of the industry, and even live chat with fellow authors and writers. Agent Query Connect is a really wonderful community with plenty of writers – novice to expert – to help out and give perspective.
Another extremely useful site is the Query Shark Blog. This has been recommended over and over. It’s worth the look, worth the read, and will definitely help to figure out what works and what doesn’t work for a query. You can even submit your own query and hope that the Shark picks yours to help revise. Check it out, it’s worth the read, and may help you take that next step into the publishing world.
Seriously, read other queries. Get advice. Tweak them. Write them anew. Trial and error – that’s the way it goes. There is no one perfect query. There is only the query that you write over and over again until it depicts your novel in a way that makes an agent want to read the world you’ve created.
Learn the query, polish the query, then trash the query and start again. It shall happen!