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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Second Guessing






Four weeks into the querying process, I am feeling fairly confident that no news is NOT good news.  The longer I wait the more I fault my query.  It’s too long.  It’s too much like a synopsis.  I didn’t personalize it enough.  I trust my instincts on this one, and I’m writing it…YET again.  

It's hard to imagine one crummy letter has such clout.

I know.  It is what it is, and I am nothing but a rule follower.  So I’m revising the query.  I’m taking out extraneous details, worried that the one I remove would have been the one to elicit interest.  Why is it I can write a 250 word blog post that’s lyrical, visual, and makes a point that leaves the reader wanting more…but a simple query letter kills me?

I have a dream.  Somewhere out there, there’s an agent who has read so many queries she hates them as much as I do, so she skips them and goes right to the first 10 pages of the manuscript.

Right.

I'll get back to working on that letter now.

And because what's written above is a rant, and not particularly helpful to anyone, here's an article from Writer's Digest by Elan Barnehama called Why you Should Write What you Don't know which shares a unique perspective. Enjoy.

16 comments:

Old Kitty said...

Good luck with your querying!! You can do this - yes you can!!

Take care
x

Yvonne Osborne said...

I couldn't write a 250 word query letter. Mine is 267 words!:)

I like what one agent said in her profile: "Don't send me a synopsis. They're evil." For that alone I would put her in my top ten.

It will happen because you can write a blog post that is visual and lyrical. The waiting is what kills us.

Jan Morrison said...

Boy do I know what you mean! The hardest thing - I'd rather write three full-length novels than one synopsis or query letter. Keep on keepin' on my gal! You'll get there.

mshatch said...

querying is so hard, especially when you start getting those rejection letters that all sound the same and don't say why your submission didn't knock their socks off. Just keep submitting and revising and sooner or later what you've sent will click with someone :)

Anne Gallagher said...

I thought your query was solid as it stood. And you know what happens when you second guess yourself. You fall into that pit of despair. it's a vicious circle.

Now stop it. Just stop. Querying sucks, there's no two ways around it. Agents take their time, they always have. It's a form of writer torture. Don't let them get the better of you.

Just keep writing the next book. I was where you are now, and the only thing to get you through it is the next "creation". So be Nike and just do it.

Manzanita said...

Good luck on the Querying. Sounds like it brings on a lot of stress.

Cherie Colyer said...

It's easy to second guess our query letters. Good luck revising yours.

J M Filipowicz said...

When I was querying I got rejections back fairly quickly. The publisher who said yes, however, took ages to reply. I would say no news is definitely good news.

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

Thanks for sharing your dream--hope it comes true for all of us. I think we stress too much over query letters since so much more plays a part in the process--like what kind of mood the editor is in when s/he reads it. :) I have a wonderful query--it's been complimented by editors and agents. Trouble is ... it's so much better than the manuscript. :(

Carol Kilgore said...

Listen to Anne's advice. She's right. I'm wishing you much luck!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I always find ways to make a query letter better. Waiting is terrible but I always fill the time with new projects.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You can tweak that letter forever! Don't panic yet. Have you let Matthew at the QQQE critique it? (Sorry, I don't remember.)

Robin said...

I don't think I have yet to read a blog from someone who's submitted a query letter that isn't in meltdown mode. It is the nature of the Query Beast. You write well. Just keep telling yourself and work on your NEXT project.

E. Arroyo said...

Ranting here is totally okay. =) Anyone who's been querying knows exactly how you feel. **me, me**

Keep at it. =)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Best wishes with your query letters. Those are some of the most painful short things to write, but you can do it! You can!

elizabethwatgibson said...

There's no getting around it writing a query letter is hard and the pits to do. Wishing you luck in getting through it. :)