Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Dreaded Query

The Query Letter:
So far I haven't been able to interest an agent enough to request a partial of my manuscript.  It's not the manuscript (yet) so it has to be the query.  I had read so much about this process beforehand that I thought I knew what I was doing...but I was wrong.  I have now done some deep, deep digging (clicking on links and then links in those links...etc) and found much more out there.  There are some incredible blogs and websites that have given me more information than I think my brain can handle.
So far, the biggest impact has been from the Query Shark.  Writers send her their queries and she chops them up, being sure to add the reason why.  (This is really helpful because agents don't have the time to tell you why they're rejecting you)  So they rewrite and she chops again.  I read some that took as many as 5 rewrites to get it right and some that only took 1.  There were even a few that she didn't have anything to say to the writer except..."send me more"..."I want to read this one."  She's brutal but if the writer isn't too intimidated to rewrite, their final query really does sound like something an agent can't say no to.

So now I'm cutting and rewriting.  I've read some more, cut some more, rewritten, added, taken away and I have come to the conclusion that this is (whew) so much worse than writing the novel.  But that's okay because this is what I want to do.

With this one page, single-spaced document, I need to not only catch an agent's eye, I need to WOW him or her with my words.  I need them to stop before they stamp "form rejection" and make them read the whole query.  I need them to say "send me more".  Because when it's all said and done, what I really want is "the call."  That all-important call when an agent says "I want to represent you."

I think all grandparents think their grandkids are the best, the smartest, the best looking of all and so on.  So I guess that makes me a normal grandma.
I got a text message from my son, Stephen, last week about Kendall.  It said "Your granddaughter just pooped on the potty."  Only a grandma (and parents) can understand why this is text-worthy.  :) 

My grandson, Trace, got his cast off his arm already.  Two weeks is all they kept it on or he may not have been able to straighten his arm.  Take good care of that, buddy. And his mother, Lisa, just told me that he's started writing a book called "Baby Mason".  He even thought to add a cover page.  Amazing!

My daughter, Amy, had to work early the other morning so Jordan and Sophia spent the night with me again and I took them to school.  You know what that meant, don't you?  Waffles for breakfast!  And their two brothers?  Matt needed my computer to send an email to a writer...hmmm.  And Zach needed a ride to a robotics class.

I can't leave out my first grandson, Justin.  This young man almost died of SIDS when he was 4 days old and stopped breathing, but because I had taken first aid and CPR classes (requirements for my job) he only had to wear a monitor for 11 months.  This young man also choked on pizza when he was 2, and was turning blue when I pulled the pizza out of his throat (that's not what they teach you in first aid...that's a panicked grandma).  This young man had lightening hit his house when he was around 14 (give or take a year) and travel through the electrical outlet beside his bed, setting his bed on fire and burning everything in his room.  Thank God he wasn't home when it happened, but he lost everything he had except for the clothes on his back.  And this young man is now 24, married to his high school sweetheart, and has made my daughter, Michelle, a grandma by being the father of a 3 year old son.  He is a bright light in this grandma's eye.  God has plans for you, Justin.

So parents, cherish every moment with your kids.  And grandparents, spend as much time as you can with your grandchildren.  These are moments you can never get back.

Quotes of the Day:
Grandchildren are God's way of compensating us for growing old. ~ Mary H. Waldrip

 The idea that no one is perfect is a view most commonly held by people with no grandchildren. ~Doug Larson


E.D. said...

good luck with the query letter - it is very hard to come up with the right one, I am sure. I have not had any luck yet either, but I am sure we will get there one day

Karen said...

Hi, E.D. We have to be sure or we would quit and quitting is not an option, right? :)