October 14, 2010 | By: Tracy

Query Wary

As some of you know, I’ve previously done the query thing with this particular MS several months back. Sending it out to about a dozen agents and getting one bite before I decided (on my own, thank you very much) that it still needed another good polishing. Now, the story is as beautiful as it can be at this juncture and I’m ready to start querying this month, before all the NaNoWriMo craziness pops up in November. And since I have a shinier MS, I definitely need a shinier query, right?

Okay, so here’s what I don’t get. Why is one little paragraph the hardest of all to write???

I mean, I’ve done plenty of studying on the query process. I’m no newbie in that regard. I understand that you don’t have to try to cram the entire story in, just enough to make the agent want to read more. I get that. I really do. Heck, I’ve even critiqued plenty of other writers and helped them get query blurbs that “sing”.

So why in the name of Mercutio can I not manage to pull out one little paragraph for myself?!

I’m an over-thinker. It’s what I do. There is no reason why a story blurb should sound wonderful when I write it in the morning and sound like crap when I go back to revise it at night. Obviously, my query is making me manic, which is probably not a good thing.

I know I’ll just have to stop being so overly critical and trying to write the “perfect” query letter, but I’m pretty sure I’m still due for another couple days of angst, because that’s how I roll.

Just curious, for those of you who’ve already query (once or many times) when did you finally decide you’d gotten it right? Or did you just guess?

4 witty remarks:

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I HATE writing the query and the pitch - HATE it! You're right. It is so much more difficult than the rest of the writing. Ugh! :-)

Shelley Sly said...

I've written queries for 3 different books, and not one of them has been even close to perfect on the first try. But I've never let myself be the judge of that, because I'm too close to my work. I always get an outsider's opinion, from blog friends or on a writer's forum, and their advice helps me tweak my query. Good luck!

adam.purple said...

One paragraph is difficult, and the one-sentence elevator pitch is even worse. I hate them both.

Quill said...

You'll get it, Tracy. Put it up at the forums and let us "sing" your praises, if you have any doubts.

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