Natasha Raulerson

Query Critique Giveaway

OH MY GOD IT’S CONTEST SEASON!

A lot of awesome things are upcoming including Michelle Hauck’s Query Kombat, Brenda Drake’s Pitch Wars, Tiffany Hofmann’s Ficfest and more!

I’ve mentioned before that I’m extremely limited in what I can do for contests this year, especially Pitch Wars because the tot in my tummy is expected to come mid-contest. That doesn’t mean that I can’t help out in other ways though. Through out the season I’ll be doing several giveaways to help you guys out. I wish I could help everyone, but I’ve got a lot on plate and have to manage my time as best I can.

Right now everyone should be polishing their queries, pitches, and first chapters to prepare to submit all the awesome. I’ve been there. It’s hard. They say it’s not worth doing if it’s easy, but sometimes you just want to print your query and tack it to a voodoo doll as if somehow that will cause it the pain it’s caused you.

The struggle is real.

That being said, my first giveaway will be TWO query critiques. How do you enter may you ask? Well you just have to sign up for my NEWSLETTER between now and Monday, April 25th, 8am EST. That’s it. Monday afternoon I will randomly draw TWO names for a query critique. I will email the winners and we’ll rock and roll!

But just FYI, signing up for the newsletter is a good way to find out about news and upcoming giveaways as well.

Good luck to all!

winners chosen and emailed! congrats to Kelly and paula!

I RECLAIM THEE!

Well, if you haven’t figure it out now, WWWriting is doing pretty damn well. With that in mind, it’s being moved off my person site and being given what it deserves-a site of its own. Yup, that’s right, off my site, and onto its own!

New Website

Facebook

Twitter

Google Plus

Youtube

So, if you’ve been following my personal blog to watch Whiskey, Wine, & Writing (as I suspect you have been because let’s face it, that’s the most interesting thing on this blog!) then it’s time to start following WWWriting at it’s new home, as here, there isn’t going to be much more about it.

But that means my blog is FREEEEEEEE to be mine again. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Yeah, I don’t know what that means, but I suppose we’ll find out. I have a few blog hops to do, but otherwise, I’m gonna have to rethink this. Hrmmmm!

Whiskey, Wine, & Writing – Episode Seven – Don’t Cry Over Spilled Queries

wwwAd (3)

Google Hangouts Link

Welcome to Episode Seven!

In the past, we’ve talked about having an awesome group of people to help you through your writing journey. Tonight, Nikki and I will be discussing the ups and downs of querying. However, we will NOT be talking about our own stats list, as that’s a big no, no in the publishing world, which is probably the first thing we’ll talk about.

I’ll admit, this week has caught up with me, and I’m woefully unprepared, but Nikki Roberti is all about that awesome, bout that awesome and has saved the show this week, so a special thanks to her.

In case you haven’t seen Nikki on the show before, she’s most awesome, a Pitchwars Mentee, and such an amazing person all around.

Check out her website and twitter. You won’t be disappointed.

Websites to check out: 

www.querytracker.com

www.agentquery.com

www.agentqueryconnect.com

www.absolutewritewatercooler.com

Some Do Not Do’s:

-Don’t complain on a public media or social website about your rejections.

-Don’t blog about your rejections.

-Don’t give up because you’ve been rejected.

-Don’t ever write in a query that they won’t regret requesting your work.

-Don’t ever tell them that they’ll regret NOT requesting your work.

-Don’t ever act like they are a buddy you’re emailing.

-Don’t ever stop improving your work.

-Do not query before your manuscript has been edited, polished, critiqued, edited again, critiqued again, and you are sure it’s as good as it can be.

Some Do’s

-Read up on how to write a query

-Find a community or a critique partner to go over it.

-Be professional in the query letter.

-Research an agent before you submit.

-Triple and quadruple check the guidelines before submitting.

-Triple and quadruple check your query for any errors before submitting.

-Know the general guidelines for the work you’re submitting ie, word count for the genre, if they want a synopsis, in which way to submit.

We’ll also be touching base on a few other topics like Pitchwars, NaNoWriMo, and more!

Moving Into The Query

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.”

and

“Query’s are ways to additionally torture writers who have already pulled out half of their hair while revising their novel.”

Inventor of the Query

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!