Archive for the ‘Query Letters’ Category
Now I remember why I’m so glad to be off the dating scene. Rejection hurts. A lot.
I’m sure I’m not the only one to equate the search for an agent to the search for Mr. Right — but it’s an apt comparison.
You try to make a good impression on your dream man/agent. If — against all odds — a connection is made, you hope he feels the same spark you do. If not? The big “R.”
Rejection. You might feel worthless. You probably question your appeal … your talents as a writer.
I ought to know, having just received two agent rejections in two days. (Being a Golden Heart ® finalist makes for much speedier replies.)
At least they weren’t all negative: Each one featured good with the bad. They both had an element of “I like you but …”
The bottom line? “Beauty and the Ballplayer” wasn’t quite right for either of them. The hero and heroine didn’t speak to them. (Whether that’s an inherent flaw in the MS is up for debate. I might have some revising to do.)
In the meantime, I’ll continue the search for Dream Agent. Somewhere, out there, is my perfect match … the agent who believes in my work as much as I do.
No, not IT it. But I just found out I’ve been taking the wrong approach to query writing.
A friend and I recently exchanged query letters. Keep in mind that I’ve written my share of queries — and have read more than my fair share of advice on how to write a great one.
But the one she read was my first stab at a query for this particular manuscript — and apparently it’s no good.
What I have is more one-page synopsis than a query. Hmm … or should I say “harumph”?
My friend’s advice is to follow this formula for the summary graph:
First sentence about the heroine/hero. Second sentence about hero/heroine. Third sentence covers the conflict in their relationship. Fourth sentence either asks a question or teases the reader in some way.
I can buy into that advice — except for the very last part. All the things I’ve read say to answer any questions you ask. You shouldn’t leave the agent/editor hanging … or so I thought.
What say you, loyal commenters? Ask and answer or just ask?
P.S. On the bright side, I guess I have an even shorter synopsis I can send out. Why couldn’t I have realized that before submitting to the Golden Heart? I could have squeezed another page of excellent writing into my entry. 😉
An e-mail arrived in my inbox today with the subject line: “Your Submission: …”
Since I was at work at the time, I had an argument with myself.
“You can’t open that! You’re supposed to be working,” the me with the Midwestern work ethic said. (It’s the same me that never calls in sick because I don’t want to leave my coworkers in the lurch. I have something like 140 sick hours built up because never feel like I can take it.)
“Open it. It won’t take long — and it might be good news.”
“No, really. Good news or not, you can wait until you get home,” the angel me insisted.
My impatient side snorted. “Yeah, right.”
No need to guess which side won. I clicked on that e-mail faster than a hungry dog scarfs down its dinner. I’m not even sure I took time to carry on that conversation in my head before I opened it. (I should have!)
Unfortunately, the news was not good. Another rejection — the second on the partial MS for “Blind Date Bride” … well, the third. Two agents and one publisher have taken a pass.
I still have hope, though. At least it was an encouraging rejection, complete with a “hang in there and stick with it.”
The agent’s complaint? Worry that the voice isn’t unique enough to stand out in the market.
Now that’s a little worrisome, because I don’t have any other voice to write in. And confusing, because in the Beacon Contest judges’ comments, they loved my voice.
Then again, the judges’ comments are on “Beauty and the Ballplayer,” not “Blind Date Bride.” Maybe BDB still isn’t ready for prime time.
And maybe I just need to continue my agent search. Somewhere, out there, is the agent who will fall as in love with my story as I am. I just need to find her (or him).
Lucky for me, my friends at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood wrote a blog post about just that topic today: the agent hunt.
It’s funny how wildly my mood has swung. I was euphoric about my contest final two weeks ago, especially after reading the judges’ feedback. I had a feeling it was the start of something big. I imagined myself on the verge of signing with an agent, selling a novel or both.
Now, I’m down in the dumps, questioning my story … my voice … even my writing talent. Yes, even a “good” rejection stings. (I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that.) 😉
I know rejection is a — huge — part of writing. We all get them. Even the bestselling authors got them at one time.
Even so, I can say it definitively: I don’t like the downslope of the writer’s roller coaster.
It’s time to make something good happen so I can crest another hill. 😉
It’s not Monday, but I finally got around to doing what I said I would: I submitted two queries on “Beauty and the Ballplayer.”
Now, I wait … and continue to work on perfecting the GH entries … and write some more on Bethany & Cody’s story.
For some reason, I’m finding it hard to focus just on the Golden Heart entries. Seems that, this year, I don’t have nearly as much work to do. Last year, I had to do some substantial editing and rewriting on Brad & Erin’s tale.
This time around, I have decent synopses written for both my entries, and the entries themselves are in pretty good shape.
Or maybe I’m just getting too cocky … 😉