Friday, October 21, 2011

The Dread Query Letter

(The Fisherman and The Siren, by Knut Ekwall. photo: Creative Commons)

I've written a YA fantasy novel, "The Rule of Three," about a girl who discovers she's a siren. Now that I'm done with the actual writing and editing, I'm learning how to jump through the hoops that, should I succeed, will transform my novel from a file on my laptop to a book sitting on a shelf in a bookstore. 

Step one is to write a query letter. I've gone through lots of drafts.  Author and internet superstar Phoebe North was awesome enough to give my query letter its first read and revision.  I just found out that Evil Editor and crew graciously gave my next query letter draft a face lift.

As was my experience with the folks at Absolute Write, there were a lot of really good suggestions for improvement.  Not to get all gushy, but it's really cool that communities exist all over the internet who are willing to help complete strangers with all the nuts and bolts of trying to get your novel published. Go internet!

Now I’m moving forward to yet another query draft, and the creation of a synopsis.
I feel strangely calm about the synopsis, probably because I’m totally ignorant about how easy or difficult writing it will be. I can only guess that it’s a bitch, because condensing over 85,000 words into a few pages can’t be easy. 

My strategy is to pretend that I’m writing about someone else’s novel. If I achieve that level of detachment, I won’t feel that urgency to get in every last detail of the plot. I hope.


  1. Tarah,

    I saw your blog linked in Phoebe's twitter stream (that sounds bizzare! :) How have you been lately??? Good luck on your query letter! Your novel sounds really interesting and I love the watercolor background of this blog. I'm going to add this to my blogroll.

  2. Michele! I've been good. I miss the Gainesville weather, though. I'm adding you back.