Friday, April 20, 2012

Q is for Querying

OK. Maybe a bit cliche.

Blog about writing, post about querying. Ha, ha. Didn't see that one coming, except... did.

But this is really important to me. While I'd love to blog about Quails and Quests and Quartz, Querying is something huge in the world of publishing and you don't really realize that until it occurs to you that maybe, just maybe, the only thing standing between you and a publishing contract is two hundred and fifty words.

That is, if your manuscript is really great. But the thing is, you can never know for sure what your manuscript is like if agents and publishers don't read it, and chances are, they won't read it unless they're grabbed by your letter.

And how do you know if it's your query letter writing or your novel content that's holding you back if you keep getting form rejections?

It's also tough because it seems like everyone has different rules for a query letter. Some say to make it stand out somehow. Others say that anything gimmicky is an automatic No. Some love for the voice to shine through, but some want straight-up information. The blog Query Shark gives great examples of what to do and what not to do, but even she admits that not every rule always applies.

I finally had mild success with one when I revised a query letter because I won a free query critique in a contest. The contest host gave me constructive comments, but way less than all the other times I'd gotten feedback from others. If I had a quarter for ever time I've given my query letter content a total upheaval... well, I'd have a bunch of quarters, and wouldn't have to worry about laundry money.

Query Letters. They're like the Queens in a game of chess. The better you can play your queen, the better your chances. But if it's gone, if it's down for the count, well... you can fight hard, but it's going to make everything more difficult.

Is it a coincidence that they both start with 'Q'?

What are some of your query wonders and woes? I'd love to hear about your experiences!


1 comment:

  1. I think querying is a necessary evil.:)
    Happy A-Zing!