Posts Tagged ‘query’
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. 😉
I can’t say this weekend has been perfect, but it’s close. Even though I was busy with the day job, I had a chance to get inspired again.
Last week was an “off week” for writing. I just wasn’t feeling it — not writing new words or editing already written ones … not any of it. I think I earned all of one point in the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival. I used the excuse of “decluttering” my bedroom to avoid feeling guilty for this lapse.
But this weekend, my drive was renewed. Thank goodness for that! I only have one uncluttered surface in my bedroom — dresser No. 2.
The creative juices started seeping back on Saturday, while I perused the latest issue of RWR as I stood in a slow-moving line at Chipotle (the first time I’ve seen the line move that slowly there). Then I attended a book-signing for one of my NARWA sisters. Glynna Kaye‘s new Love Inspired release, “Second Chance Courtship,” is new this month, and she had a signing in Flagstaff.
Home from work on Saturday night, I opened my WIP file for the first time in about a week. I read back through a few pages … but still found myself stuck. Those juices weren’t quite flowing yet.
Lucky for me, I still had plenty of other things to do when I met with our chapter president, Anne Marie Becker, Sunday morning for a write-in at Starbucks. We chatted a little, about NARWA business and “Only Fear,” the book she has coming out in September through Carina Press. Then we settled down to work — her on suggested edits from her editor, me on self-editing my NaNo story, “My Fair Fiancee.”
Juices running at full force by then, I also read through another of the GH entries I was sent to judge (just one more to go!) and reviewed my query letter for “Beauty and the Ballplayer,” the contest finalist.
Now, after I finish this blog post, I’ll transfer some of my Kenny & Kristi edits to the Word file. I was editing the old-fashioned way today … on the printed page.
Seems I catch more that way — especially when I go through each page with a highlighter to find all those pesky, unnecessary adverbs. Some pages had an embarrassing amount. I blame the NaNo mentality (more words, more, more, more!)
Of course, without that NaNo drive, I wouldn’t have another completed MS, now would I?
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 … 😉
One of the goals I set out at our July NARWA meeting was to send at least two queries on “Beauty and the Ballplayer.”
Well, it’s still not done, even though the meeting is a week away. What’s stopping me?
It’s ridiculous, really. I keep telling myself (rather stupidly) that if I submit a query now, and they like it (really LIKE it), I won’t be eligible for the Golden Heart.
See? I told you it was ridiculous.
Really. What would be better in the long run? Becoming a published author or entering the Golden Heart again (and potentially not winning a darn thing)?
So first thing Monday morning, I’m sending out those two queries — one directly to Harlequin, since it’s a category novel, and one to an agent who represents such things. (I just need to check my list to see which ones do.)