Query Letters (Or Alternatively: The Next Scary Step)

Part of the reason why I decided to relaunch this blog, having already survived a failed attempt to do so nearly two years prior, was primarily driven by the accomplishment I was able to achieve the night before last.

After nearly two years of agonizingly slow editing (typically an hour for a page) and frustrating procrastination (cough), I had successfully managed to finish the Final Draft for my hopefully soon to be debut novel. To say the least, it was a triumphant moment. I had conquered Everest and lived to tell of the tale, or so I’ll tell my naive future grandchildren.

With the last thirty pages having been radically re-written and re-planned, I was at last content with the creation that sat before me. A polished, mostly clean (minus the Oreo stains) manuscript stared back at me with a glimmer I had long waited to see.

Word for the wise: NaNoWriMo is the easy part. What comes after it is… (Insert frightening sound effect)

So anyway, it’s finished. All done. Sitting comfortably in the depth’s of my iPad and Computer, it now waits patiently for someone to scoop it up in their arms and embrace it with a loving hug.

But unfortunately, before I can watch that teary eyed scene unfold (preferably in slow motion for good dramatic effect), I’ll need to convince an agent that it’s actually a book worth his/her time to even take a look at.

Easy enough, or so it would seem, that is until you realize that it’s finally time to draft what so many writers fear with a passion.

The Query Letter.

Without going much into it, because I’ll take a wild guess and presume you already well know what one is, I’ll simply say that its pretty darn nerve wracking.

Imagine it a little like a blurb on the back of a book. The goal, as you can surmise, is to grab the literary agent’s interest.

The idea behind it sounds somewhat simple. I mean, after all, if you can write a novel in 30 days, you can find the strength to write three paragraphs that sell your book, right?

And then enters the nagging self-doubt that I loath so very much.

You realize with nervous horror that this short letter (never mind the first five actual pages of your novel that will accompany it) may be the deciding factor between having your book proposal skipped over or requested.

Questions suddenly assault you at every turn. “Did I really put it together right?” “Will it hook her/him?” “Is it everything that it can be?”

I’ve heard many agents tell aspiring authors not to worry so much about them.

Though somewhat comforting, it still doesn’t stop the burning anxiety.

I guess only time will tell exactly how well I did. I’m having several people take a look at my current draft of the Query. Hopefully they might find something to improve.

Though I have no helpful advice to share with any fellow writers in my same predicament, I promise that if and when I do master the art of the Query Letter, I will promptly share my secrets with all of you.

Either that, or I’ll find a way to sell them on ebay…

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