Fellow Writers, Lend Me Your Ears! (I’ll Give ‘Em Back)


I’m sure it’s just me, but I wanted to be sure.

In that vein, in that interest, I want to throw something out to other writers that may find my little corner of the blogosphere and ask a couple of questions.

I’m reaching a point in my writing process where I have to start thinking about query letters. Everything I hear about query letters makes me afraid; really afraid. I’m scared to write one. By all accounts, one wrong move spells certain doom for a project, regardless of how well-written it might be.

I’ve been adding more and more literary agent blogs to my RSS feed for just this reason. I keep hoping there will be some insight, some twinkle or glimmer of insight, that makes me understand finally what it is that is required. The wording, what needs to be included, what has to be said and how. Selling myself — hell, I’m not even sold on myself, how do I sll myself to someone else? And a synopsis? Never done one, have no idea how to do one. I’m going to have to, of course, but it can’t just be a synopsis, it has to be a sales pitch too.

I’ve tried sales in the past. Oh yeah. In the late ’80s I was on a “I’m gonna get stinking, lousy rich” kick and thought sales would be a great way to do that. I mean, it worked for Tom Hopkins, right? So I tried a few things. None of them were easy sells, to be sure, but neither is a book to an agent and thence to an editor, and thence to a publishing committee — right?

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8 thoughts on “Fellow Writers, Lend Me Your Ears! (I’ll Give ‘Em Back)

  1. ok, its me again,. Your friendly neighborhood know it all. πŸ˜‰ Have you looked at the Nathan Bransford,lit agent link on your blog? On his sidebar he has 2 links to writing good query letters WITH examples and comments on why they are good. This is about the best explaination I’ve seen. Yes, query letters scare the wits right out of me. I have written some very bad ones in the distant past and haven’t tried in the near past. Yeah, cowardly, that’s me. He isn’t as arrogant sounding as some either. And he just wrote a blog that encouraged people to query him. I haven’t yet, but I put him on my possibles list. πŸ™‚ Don’t give up. We aren’t quitters, ya know.

  2. Penfury – You’re right, I’ve no intention of quitting. It’s just been discouraging to even try up to this point. I knew Nathan’s blog had a different feel than the others (yes, he’s more human and less aloof), but I didn’t know he had sample query letters (I haven’t exhaustively gone through his blog yet).

    Oh, and by the way — I’m grateful for know-it-alls who take the time to leave me insight and wisdom, like you do. So feel free to come and spout everything in your head. You’re always welcome here. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for coming by and being encouraging.

  3. I’ve been thinking about this, and just as I suspected, I know nothing. lol

    I think with query letters you have to read a hundred of them, then you just “know” what to do. Certain elements, like word count, genre, previous works, etc, are always included if possible, but others are book-specific. If you’d like to read mine for Ea’s Gift (but which I see now was still imperfect after a dozen rewrites) I’ll send it to you. We could revise yours online together when you’re ready also.

    Good luck! luvsya!

  4. Sherri – How sweet you are to offer such a ridiculously cool thing. I’ll probably take you up on it — provided I can — when I’m ready, of course. πŸ˜‰

    I really appreciate how sweet you’ve been through all of this, hon. You’ve done nothing but show support and love. We just want you to know we love you too. *hugs*

  5. I’m not a writer, so I can’t give you any useful advice. But I have read some of your work and they are fantastic. You are only one good break away from achieving your dream. Don’t lose it.

  6. Leafless — Wow, thank you! I love hearing that; someone loves my writing. That makes all the other scary things about trying to be an author worthwhile. I’m so grateful you came by and commented. and I have to tell you … all you need to BE a writer if you want is a little practice. You’ve got a great repository going on over at your blog.

    Thanks again for coming by and speaking on my behalf. I deeply appreciate it.

    God bless.

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