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Thread: Query letter hell

  1. #1

    Query letter hell

    Am I allowed to moan and groan about query writing here? Honestly, I am *this* close to tears.

    This process reminds me of when I was in third grade and they put me into a special class for "gifted math" students (yes, third grade). I was a tough little kid who took all sorts of abuse, but there was one thing that could make me cry: not being able to solve a mathematical problem. Just the knowledge that there WAS an answer, and yet I had run up against this brick wall, drove me so insane that I would be reduced to tears.

    Okay. I am not in third grade. I am NOT GOING TO CRY.
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  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW
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    Repeat after me:

    Agents are my friends. Agents are on my side. Agents are my friends. Agents are on my side. Agents are my friends. Agents are . . .

    caw

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by blacbird View Post
    Repeat after me:

    Agents are my friends. Agents are on my side. Agents are my friends. Agents are on my side. Agents are my friends. Agents are . . .

    caw
    Dude, I'm not even to the sending point. Note sig. I am still in the process of WRITING MY STUPID QUERY.
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    Courting Greta has been released into the wide world!
    I have also entered the world of self-pubbing with a short story, Christmas in the Californios, 1833.

  4. #4
    Av from a friend who *knows* me AW Moderator Calla Lily's Avatar
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    Jo, I'll look at it later today. [puts on Grammar Goddess halo and revs up chainsaw]

    ETA: Done. PM me.
    Last edited by Calla Lily; 08-15-2007 at 04:40 PM.

  5. #5
    Li'l Rug Bug clara bow's Avatar
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    Jo, I feel your pain! It is so difficult to distill a huge book into a one page pitch. It's a different creative process from writing a book. I've only written five queries, but I've *rewritten* them probably over a hundred times!!!! I think I was close to tears at one point myself. It's hard not to feel like a moron about the whole thing (well ok, maybe that's just me!).

    Writing a good query letter takes time. I know you want to get it out to agents as soon as possible, but it might help to put it away for about a month--or more--and just think about it. Think about it when you're away from the computer. The one I'm working on now has taken me about 8 months of on and off work (well, I started it while i was writing the book). Like you, I also sought feedback. I think it's my strongest query yet because of the extra time I took (but it could be that the story is easier to distill???).

    It's hard to hear sometimes, but good advice can improve a letter dramatically. For me, it helped to step away and clear my head. FWIW--your mileage may vary.

  6. #6
    my name is hannah Shady Lane's Avatar
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    Jo--I'll absolutely look at your query letter if you like.
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  7. #7
    I'm really shy... joyce's Avatar
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    Smile

    Jo I feel your pain. Every time I enter the hell zone I feel like I'm stupid and can't even get close to being right. Don't feel bad, I'm about to enter the zone again for the third time with the same stupid query. I just hope this time I feel better about the query than the other times. Good luck.

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoNightshade View Post
    Dude, I'm not even to the sending point. Note sig. I am still in the process of WRITING MY STUPID QUERY.
    I know. I was just trying to give you inspiration.

    caw

  9. #9
    ray of motherf#%&ing sunshine ink wench's Avatar
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    I'd offer you luck, but you don't want any of my luck at the moment. So, um, have some chocolate instead. I'll try to stop by your query and give it a read, not that I know what I'm doing....
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  10. #10
    Thanks for the encouragement, guys and girls!

    This is why I'm starting now... I'm not to the point where I want to send out queries yet, so I have lots of time to work on it. I just hit a brick wall last night and was totally frustrated.

    Okay. Going back again. Not giving up.
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    Courting Greta has been released into the wide world!
    I have also entered the world of self-pubbing with a short story, Christmas in the Californios, 1833.

  11. #11
    Midnight Reading MidnightMuse's Avatar
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    I give up every day, usually around 11:00 a.m. I figure I'm a complete idiot.

    I start up again in the morning, and it goes 'round and 'round. I think it's safe to say we all feel your pain. I can write fiction till my fingers fall off, but try to write one paragraph describing that fiction in a way that will temp some stranger to pick it up - especially when you're talking about strangers who have hundreds of these every week to pick from - is nothing short of daunting.

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