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15 July 2009

Nothing Too Profound Today

Four hours of sleep do not a happy writer make...

OK, so it was my fault that I only got said four hours of sleep. Yes. I went to the Harry Potter premiere last night! Yes, I liked it. And yes, it was worth feeling tired. Thank the Lord for coffee!

I've been doing query research lately. There's so many good sites that I've found. Perhaps the most informative has been http://charlottedillon.com/query.html. She has listed a bevy of sites that discuss the query process. Some of the links aren't there any longer, but for the most part, they are all up and running.

One of the links led me to a bright pink page. I'm not a pink gal, but as I contemplated putting on my sunglasses in order to properly see the information on the page, I read this quote: "Your query letter is your key that opens the door to publication." Monica Jackson, the author of the article on http://sormag.com/query/tr.html starts her musings off with that. It's so true. We spend years sometimes on a manuscript, making it perfect, and it comes down to one page. All our hopes and dreams hinge on a couple of paragraphs. I would be lying if I didn't say I wish we could go back to the "good old days" of writers submitting their full manuscripts. I know, I know!Times change, people got busier, correspondence got pushed to a minimum.

I've only written one query before, so this process is especially daunting. I am finding, however, that the more I brainstorm, the easier it is getting. If I think of it as query, I get flustered, stressed. But if I look at it as a summary, I'm able to sit back and chew on it, play around with some ideas. I have one draft so far. It needs a lot of work, but just knowing that I've made some head way puts me a little more at ease.

I apologize for the lack of creativity in this post! My brain is still a bit fuzzy from the HP hangover. I'm blaming nargles...

Happy day,
Jennifer

12 comments:

Jody Hedlund said...

Hey, I'm impressed you even posted a blog today! And it sounds like you're doing a great job preparing to write a query. I think we can get over anxious to get our MS out there and rush through the critical phase of crafting a great query. Hope it all comes together for you!

JStantonChandler said...

Thanks, Jody! I'm trying to balance out the research. I tend to go overboard with that aspect of anything and then when it comes to actually doing the work, I'm burnt out!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

You can do it, Friend! Your books are awesome and I know you're going to put the same care into crafting your query. Just be willing to take the time to do it well. My biggest mistake was sending mine too early and learning how to do it after I received those "passes".

JStantonChandler said...

Thanks, Kristen. I don't know why querys intimidate me. But so far I've got a pretty good rough draft. Not good as in, "I think I'll send this out" but as in, "I think I can work with this".

Mind reading it when I finish?

Hope you're feeling better :)

Glynis said...

Well what do you know,I have just left Charlotte Dillon's site. It is fantastic and I recommend it to all. Now I am off to find the pink page, I love pink LOL
Good luck with that query letter. I am putting off writing my novel because of THE letter LOL.

JStantonChandler said...

Thanks for the good luck, Glynis! I need it. I found that Charlotte's site had most of the ones I found on a Google search all in one place.
Don't let that query keep you from finishing your novel! You can do it! Don't worry about the query until after the book's finished. THEN you can worry all you want ;)

Lin said...

Don't over-think it. Just try to write it like your book. Breathe deep and it will come to you. You CAN do it!!

JStantonChandler said...

Lin: Thank you for that! I always over-think EVERYTHING! Looks like I just need to suck it up and DO it!!

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

It certainly does sound like very hard work to get something published.

Good luck! I am positive that your query letter will be brilliant!

JStantonChandler said...

Thanks, DG!

Your encouragement is most appreciated. Hope you had a fabulous weekend!

~Jennifer

Gwen Stewart--Singer-Scribe said...

Jennifer,

I know what you mean about queries. It seems like a totally different set of skills needed to write a query than to write books.

That said, you have a way with words! That puts you head and shoulders above many other writers, and I think agents have a "nose" for that. :)

I've also read that many agents actually prefer the first pages to the queries. Not, of course, that queries can be ignored...but just that it's perhaps not as vital as some would have you think.

Best of luck as you work it out! I'm editing a MS, then on to the back cover copy, synopsis, and proposal...yikes. Off to work I go! :)

JStantonChandler said...

Thanks a bundle, Gwen! That an agent prefers the first few pages to a query does take a little of the edge off. *whew*
Good luck to you with your editing!

~Jen