Friday, January 13, 2012

The "Q" word.

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This is what it may feel like when writing a query. All levels--do I go up? down? change this? do what?Where do I go? One step at a time.

I'm not talking quitter. I'm talking query. Ahh... the query. Just the sight of the word makes many folks want to curl up in a ball or go hide in a cave of darkness, maybe even attempt cliff diving instead of writing it. You can see it on fellow writers' faces right when you say "que", their noses scrunch up and their eyes squint like they've eaten a lemon (unless they have no idea what you're talking about, in that case, they just give you the distant stare).


A page that is what your whole story is about. It must have voice, important info, sass, must be eye catching, I could go on. All of it in one little package. It's the first impression. Yeah, talk about pressure. The logline  or pitch is less than 40 words and must be catchy enough for an agent to want to read it. The crazy part (just like everything else) it's subjective (not all agents read the whole thing either). Of course, there are some rules, or should I say, guidelines, but all in all, you're putting it out to gain an agent's love.

Really, it's like your ticket to the ride of a lifetime. Okay, calm down. Breathe. Eat some chocolate or get a drink. Whatever soothes you. I'm not writing this to scare you. It's something we all must face. I, of course, am not there, well I've written them, but have not sent any out. Last night, I started to freak out a little after reading my query and researching agents. I wanted to print it out and crumble it into a ball, thinking for a second to light it on fire as I look at a flameless candle (little freak out crazies, no biggie). Yeah, the thought of "it's never going to happen" made an appearance and I may have posted my fear on FB. Then I calmed down. Turned my mindset to growth and calmly tuned it out. Nothing will happen if I don't try. Will there be rejections? Yep. Disappointment? Probably. But there is always hope. To try again and NEVER give up.

So, I thought I would share some links that may help. Believe me, there's lots of support and info out there.

YA Author, Elana Johnson. Her book From the Query to the Call is free go here to get it.

QueryTracker. net. Helps you find agents and publishers and tracks your process. I was on there last night for a few hours researching and getting a little scared. :)

More info on writing the query:

Fiction Notes: http://www.darcypattison.com/marketing/ultimate-query-letter/

Writer's Relief-Has tips on what not to put in your query.

Needs some feedback. Go to these sites:

Matthew MacNish --The QQQE--Can't even begin to tell you how helpful his feedback is.

Query Shark-- A place to go for feedback

Evil Editor--Another place to go for feedback.

Casey McCormick--For feedback and other advice.

There you go. Now go and get started on that query. I'm still working on mine. If you have any other sites that you love for queries. Let me know.

Have a great day!

10 comments:

  1. You are so correct about all the help out there. The links you've included are great ones! (OMGosh! I just had a brain cramp. Did I tell you I'd help you? Did you send it to me. I've been sick. *slaps head* Email me. I'll do it today!!)

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  2. You can also have Matthew at the QQQE critique it - he does a great job.

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  3. Ugh, query. What an awful word. You can do it!!!

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  4. Go for it, Christine!

    I'm not quite there yet. Still quaking with fear. (Actually, no, I just need to finish revising. Which I'd like to do quickly, but some things can't be hurried.)

    Thanks for compiling all these helpful links!

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  5. Query is a dirty word missy. Now go and wash your fingers with soap.

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  6. Good luck, Christine! If you need a fresh set of eyes on your query, send it over!

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  7. I was lucky. One of my beta readers and my CP wrote mine. Both versions have garnered requests. :D

    After Christina's critted your query, send the new version my way.

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  8. These are some great links. I'm favoriting this page. :-)

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  9. ...Christine, you'll do fine. It's simply a matter of doing it.

    Get 'em written, get 'em out there, let 'em know who you are, and that you're in the game for the long haul.

    The first rejections may sting a bit, but it's nothing personal, just a stumble in the road. Stay persistent, keep sending them out, and the answer you're wanting to hear will eventually arrive ;)

    El

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