Friday, August 17, 2012

queries argh!

So WriteOnCon has been awesome! I've learned a ton and have gotten great suggestions for making both my query and first 5 pages better. I've been rewriting my query a lot and it seems that it needs even more tweaking, even since I posted my final query on the WriteOnCon forum board.

I've gone back over Elana Johnson's posts on query letters (if you haven't read them, it is a MUST) making sure I have all of the important info conveyed: hook, setup, conflict, consequence. I've taken out  the subplots so that the query is more stream-lined (hopefully!)

And you know what, guys, the forums are still open! I've posted my re-revised query (very different from the first ones), so if you'd like to check it out, it's here. Any other suggestions would be great! I don't know if I've changed it for the better.

But seriously guys, queries are so hard! There's so much to a story, that breaking it down into its most basic elements is just crazy talk. I've taken a look at a lot of other queries from published and agented authors, but they were mostly from novels I haven't read. The one I found most helpful, was Marissa Meyer's query for Cinder, since I had read that. Going back to the query, I could see all the subplots she left out, even though they were so important to the book! That's what really propelled me to keep cutting my query.

I still have revisions to do on the first 5 pages and the rest of the MS. Grad school starts August 27th (eek!) and I really want to get it done by then, but that would be pretty ridiculous. I'm going away on vacation for the week, (so I won't be blogging), but maybe I can sneak some revisions in there :)


  1. Oh, Steph! I'm the worst. I'll definitely email you this weekend with my thoughts!

    Have an awesome trip!! (Where are you going?!)

    1. It's no prob, Amanda! I'm not ready to query for *a while* (since I still have a ton of revisions) so take your time. And I'm going to Maine with my mom; we go every year, so it's kind of a tradition, shop at the outlets, relax, and eat as much seafood as possible!

  2. Definitely keep going! It takes a lot of work to make a query just right, and it's so hard to know what to cut and what not to cut. The main questions to ask yourself I think are firstly what is the central conflict, and secondly what are the stakes involved in this central conflict? Then as long as the subplots fit in with this main idea, you don't have to mention them much or even at all. I really hope you nail it before you go back to school! Good luck with it, Steph.