Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The IWSG is now in session


The first Wednesday of each month is the meeting of the IWSG. Do click on the link and visit other insecure types!

Write this way. No...I mean right this way. Or do I? I'm so deep in query do-dah that I second-guess every last word I write. I thought it would be different this time but it isn't. It is much like making sourdough bread for the first time. I read and watch everything I can on the subject. I decide that one person has all the answers and follow them slavishly until the devil suggests a short-cut - then I'm on it. If the starter doesn't bubble or the prose sing I'm back reading, watching, changing up my plan. Luckily, this time around, I have a mentor who has been very successful with his own queries and is happy to guide me, thick though I am, through the process.

I got caught on the single page formulaic query letter when I tried to actually synopsize the novel. Okay, okay, I know that isn't a word but it should be. Someone has to make up new words and Shakespeare is dead. Anywhoozie, I'm off that track and keeping the synopsis for those who want that. It is a Byzantine path to publication, with more form and convention than dancing the gavotte (you crossword fanatics will know this one).  You have to entice the agent or publisher without being coy and using the voice your novel is in. It has to be third person, present tense, and don't forget to drop in, ever so casually, that you met them at a workshop twelve years ago, and you were so impressed. Oh, best not - they'll think "12 years ago! What a slow writer! Don't want them in my stable." One misstep and your query letter (and the first fifteen pages of your ms) are in the round file.

So...you're thinking...she's not nearly so chipper as she was last month. Ha! How the chipper are chopped. But, like Dory, I will just keep swimming. Or writing. Or revising. Or submitting.Image result for Dory images

Later, my friends.

6 comments:

Liza said...

I so hear you! If ever there was an industry that makes us question ourselves. All the work to get a book written is just the start. The query, the synopsis, and the endless, endless waiting. It is perhaps, what has possibly defeated me...although maybe not. Maybe I'm just having a rest. I keep reminding myself that its not personal. Agents receive so very many submissions that they have to be ultra-picky. Anyway, try to keep positive. As long as you know your manuscript is where it needs to be, the query will do its job. Always best wishes.

Margot Kinberg said...

I know just exactly what you mean, Jan! Getting all of the materials together and then doing that query letter - it's all enervating. And it doesn't help that there are plenty of publishers who, after all of that effort, simply never get back to you. It's one reason why I think writers really have to have a lot of faith in themselves.

Jennifer Lee Rossman said...

I'm beginning to look at the query process as well... Who would have thought that writing the novel would be the easy part!

Loni Townsend said...

Too bad there wasn't an easy tool that says "Enter data here" and it spits out a perfect query for you. You know, like one of those bread making machines that were popular a decade or two ago--just dump the stuff in and blamo!

Hope your querying goes well!

Carol Kilgore said...

If I filled this comment box with every foul, four-letter type word I know - and there are a lot of them - it wouldn't put a dent in how much I hate writing a synopsis. Sending good-wishes vibes your way for making a success of it.

Misha Gericke said...

Best of luck! Querying is a pain in the butt, but you gotta do it if you want to go the traditional route.