Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Query Woes.

Shell is complete, and there's nothing quite like the sensation of finishing a book. Especially this one, since I honestly believe this is the greatest thing I ever written. It's always nice to have something you can wave in the air and say, "I made this!" even if it is just a wad of paper.

My baby is off with betas, exchanging ideas and working to become a better book. In the mean time, I have some time to myself to work on my query.

Oh Dear Lord.

I don't think many writers enjoy writing quieries. Not only because you're taking a book you spent months crafting and summing it up in a few brief paragraphs, but because there are so many rules that go with queries. There are rules to writing novels, and you can break every one of them, so long as it works. With queries, even if it works, breaking the rules is frowned upon.

I've compiled a list of common queries errors that I always have to keep at the forefront of my mind when I'm struggling to write my queries:

1) Length. No, no, no. I can't keep it to 250 words! You have to hear about all these fabulous subplots, like how the dad is evil but he doesn't mean to be evil,. he's a good guy, and how he met the MCs Mom and the history of the whole world. I have to go into detail about the socioeconomic pressures that motivate my MC!

2) No more than two characters. But I really want to tell you about my favorotrite character Puck, who doesn't have much time in it but he's totally awesome. And this other buy who doesn't actually speak, and the dad, and I have to talk about the MC's second cousin twice removed...

3) Keep the focus on your MC. Nah. I think I'll write the entire query about Bob. He's this guy that the MC meets at school. They never talk, but I think his perspective will really illustrate how awesome my book is.

4) Your MC MUST be active. LIke how my MC is discovered by the evil guy and gets kidnapped and then he's saved by these other people and doesn't actually do anything because he was drugged?

5)Be specific. Or I could talk about this other really cool thing but keep it a complete and utter secret so the agent's scratching their head and wondering what the hell I'm talking about through the entire query. If they have no idea what's going on, they'll request pages for sure!

6) Hook them in fast. Fast? Of course I can be fast! My hook is only six pages into my query. Talk about speedy!

-Le sigh- Back to the drawing board with me.




  1. Well done for finishing another novel! I'm going to try to start and finish mine during NaNoWriMo. Good luck with the query-writing.

  2. Congrats on the accomplishment.

    Queries are just another chore ... so go to it.

  3. Love the list! The hook is the key, and I always love a good hook.

  4. Grats on finishing your book! Queries are definitely a pain, but like writing, if you practice enough, it becomes easier. Good luck!

  5. super congrats on finishing your story! ahh...queries. i'm there with you right now. it's mentally taxing and honestly I keep saying how amazingly more difficult it is to write a query letter than a 90k novel. keep at it and best of luck to you!