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  1. #11
    Greg Kosson

    Re: query frustration

    Have you ever heard of the technique used in teaching drawing where the student draws something upside-down? This helps the student see the actual form, the lines that make up the object, and not what he or she thinks the object (an apple, a lamp, whatever) "ought to" look like.

    I think some writers fall into a trap of trying to be too true to the book. You've spent all this time writing it, and how can you possibly sum it up in a couple of paragraphs in any honest fashion? You can't, obviously, and it's going to bother any writer who tries.

    The answer may lie in thinking about it differently. The query isn't a mini-novel, but an advertisement for your novel. Really think about this distinction, and what it means. You'll have to pretend someone else wrote the book and you've been hired to write an ad that will sell it. The sole job of the query letter is to get an agent or editor to read the actual work, and that just isn't done by condensing your work into a form that loses all its meaning. It takes on a new form and the challenge is visualizing that form.

  2. #12
    Randall Fields

    Re: query frustration

    I agree with mr. Kosson with a whole heart

  3. #13
    Liz Taylor

    Re: query frustration


    Your explanation rings true with me. I have that book, "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" (and it works, too).

    You do seem to go to a different part of the brain for a query letter (and synopsis), and it's closer to technical writing. No wonder it becomes such a speed bump after living the rush of a novel. You have to think billboard, back cover, or a 60 second ad during prime time.


  4. #14
    Terre Tompson

    Re: query frustration

    I believe that Query and synopsis letters are the worst. Even if you read the Do\'s and Don\'ts of submission, they never seem to agree. Some say to single space the synopsis, but a published writer friend of mine said that I was supposed to double space it. She writes to the same publication that I was sending a query and synopsis to.

    It can really be frustrating, trying to keep to the formula, yet do something that will capture the publishers attention. I seem to put off doing this, by doing anything but. (Cleaning the house is more relxing). I know it has to be done, because no publisher or agent is going to knock at my door and ask to see my novels. Aw, the up and down side of the writer\'s life.

  5. #15
    Red Currant

    Re: query frustration

    Queries suck, no way around it. At least that's been my experience. I'd recommend the book Your Novel Proposal from Creation to Contract by Camenson and Cook. A lot of good info in there about queries and other necessary evils. Also, I'd recommend checking out Cindy Dyson's website for a somewhat different, but very helpful, perspective on query writing: <http://www.cindydyson.com/cavemain/caveframeset.html>

    Good luck!

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