Monday, July 11, 2011

I like writing fiction...

...but I'm not good at queries!  Queries, for those who don't know, are one-page letters you send to agents, and they're supposed to make your manuscript sound enticing enough to read.  Only I'm not so good at deciding what I should put in.

Take Star Wars, for example.  If you had to sum up Star Wars in two paragraphs, what would you focus on?  The Death Star can blow up planets, Luke can use the Force, there's Leia and her rebel forces, and that's not even mentioning Darth Vader, who's all menacing and cape-billowy.  You can't mention too many names, or it gets confusing, but I'd like to write something that shows the whimsical humor and the strangeness and the poetical moments in my book.  Patricia's family is stolen, she's got magic she has to figure out in a few days, she needs to decide whether she should trust her teacher or the witch she sees in her dreams, and--well, she's got to save her family!  It's hard to decide what to put in, and how, but at least the Evil Editor looked at it today on his blog and gave me some pointers.  He's smart, even if he is evil, and I think he's funny because he's evil.  Anyway, this is just my long rambling way of saying I'm grateful to all the people who market books, the agents and editors and slush readers and such who know lots about business and reading, because I only know about reading.  And writing.  Because writing on my best days feels exhilarating, like climbing to the top of a mountain and finding a rainbow with a family of mountain goats and a glacier that crackles and reflects the light.  Like discovery, in other words, and accomplishment, and healthiness (for the brain, in the case of writing--for the body, in the case of mountain climbing).

Okay.  I'm done.  In honor of Evil Editor, here is an exciting picture of Benjamin Franklin:

Evil Editor looks like good old Ben, and lightning makes everything 80% more compelling, so there's some lightning, too!


  1. Wow at least you're getting a lot of experienced help with it - no offense to myself but I AM an amateur after all. Hope it works out well. Probably best that you didn't send out a big batch first thing which is what yours truly (ahem idiot) did lol.

  2. I love your query! I just wasn't getting any requests unless I sent pages, too, and I think that means my query could be better. Plus they said my manuscript is probably middle grade instead of young adult--and since I don't differentiate between the two as a reader, I always wondered that! Soon as I could read beyond beginning chapter books, I ranged all over the library, so I've had trouble with classification. I don't think you need Evil Editor for your revised query, though--you've got more skill at query-ness than I! :)

  3. Well, hopefully, cross your fingers, wish on a star, I won't need a query again! And you either... :0D