Queries Again? (I must be a masochist)

This is one of my favorite quotes and I couldn't agree with him more. I believe that everyone has a story in them that when they let out it turns into something amazing. Writing for me is a way to express myself, and if there is every anything bothering me or on my mind I always write about it so I don't have to hold it inside.:

Alright then, I’ve realized that in my absolute need to write about how incredibly expensive even writing a query has become, I left out a few important details.  Before I delve into said details, let me point out one small, rather pertinent fact:

I have never been accepted for publication by any major agents and/or publishing houses.  

As much as it may pain me to admit, that fact is true.  I have had a few queries garner a second look, but then nothing.  NOTHING.  Sad emptiness that makes me want to curl up in a small ball and feel absolutely worthless.  I am here today to try and make certain that anyone who stumbles upon this blog realizes that we are not worthless, not even a little bit.

Having said that, I now want to offer a tiny ray of hope in the query process as well.  After the first round of mindless “seminars” that you can pay to attend and receive pointers, there are still the tried and true basics of querying.  I’ll be sharing the main points, and if I ever (fingers crossed) have a query accepted and then the manuscript accepted (a key caveat), I will share every painstaking detail for those who are interested.

Here are the bare bones (as far as I can tell).  My theory is that every little bit helps.

1. Start with a hook (the ideas for hooks are wide ranging, but a similar theme does seem to be something that strikes the reader’s imagination and also give a tiny trace of the character to come – there were dozens of options, but other sites said “you must introduce the character here” – that seems to me to be code for do both)  

2. Introduce the dreaded synopsis (It is brutal, beyond words, to take a 50,000+ word piece of our souls and condense it to usually 250 words, but we have to at least try.  My best advice is to write everything you want to say, and would say if someone would but listen, then go back and rewrite the whole bloody thing, taking out superlative adjectives and any overabundance of plot points.  Stick to the basics, but make it interesting – I did read that it was important to show true plot, not just emotional baggage, and I liked that point – a lot) 

3. The less that is said, the better (this is particularly true in light of the word constraint, but also about yourself.  If you haven’t been a well published or over-educated person in a minute field that over qualifies you – sorry, personal baggage decided to drop by – then don’t point out that you have little to no experience – instead, give what audience the book might appeal to instead) 

4. Revise, revise, revise (Those 250 words – or 500, you might get lucky – will come a lot sooner than you think.  When in doubt, edit it until you are crying from the emotional toil.  Chances are that if you’re like me, you’ll have finally cut back on the superfluous words by that point) 

 5. And finally, edit (This might seem a bit obvious, but I am sure I’m not the only one out there who has sent an email and then realized – too late!- that the type font was different at the top or that a name was spelled wrong. Unfortunately, we can never get back what we’ve sent, so make absolutely certain it is as good as it can get – CAREFUL! though, don’t overthink it, that will no doubt nix any chance of you ever sending it.  I personally would rather send something and have a small typo than never send it.  After all, if you never ask, the answer is always no)

And so we conclude my thoughts on the dreaded query.  I truly hope some day soon I’ll be coming back to this page and editing it to give my personal experience in acceptance not rejection, but until then:

Keep calm and query on:

Published by L.E. Gibler

Writer, rider, and future crazy cat lady

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