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Thursday, April 9, 2009

-Versary...Part Two


...And there it sat, radiating accomplishment which I soaked up like the hot sun beaming through the adjacant window. I allowed it to be enough, for about a week - while my family waded in tide pools and dined out at small cape resturants eating far too much clam chowder.

But the next step? What was that? It was, I quickly discovered, something called a query letter.

A what?

A one page synopsis of the hefty, maximum weight limit for a carry on proposal that still possessed a special glow? One page? I begged page 52 of How To Write A Query Letter, "but ...but..."I stammered, "how could I possibly?"

And then it hit me.

He could help me - that awe-inspiring writer who had unknowingly set me down this road. A few quick clicks and his website sat before me. I leaned back in my chair and took it in, the tanzinite hues, the classic, easy to read writing, and the sub-headings. One called out to me: Writer's Corner it said affirming the seed of belief within me, that yes - 'writer' was a title I owned. It felt homey, like sitting with a mentor who merely smiles as you babble on and on, disecting and solving your own issues - as he, mute, continues smiling and nodding - affirming.

And behold - there it was... a sample query letter, no - his sample query letter. The first one he ever wrote for the first book he ever sold - Th.e Not.ebook. (note: it sold for one million dollars, yeah - his first book *whew*)

I salivated as I read it the first time daydreaming of the words streaming from me without effort, stringing themselves together in a magical way, producing the perfect query letter in one take. Forcing myself to focus I shook the last whisps of fantasy away and slowed down. I analyzed every word as I read it again, and there they were: The hook, the story summary, market, author background and more...IN ONE PAGE!

Each time I re-read the well crafted paragraphs before me my silent mentor said something like this, just write it - then write it again, and again, and again and again feels right. It was then the words jumped out at me, "I wrote sixteen drafts over two weeks". Um, 16? Like ten then six more? Ok.

So back to work I went, writing and re-writing, laying off whole sentences, then words - picking them off one at a time, measuring their meaning against each other as I searched for just the right balance of hook, storyline, author background and market potential.

For me, the magic number was fourteen. I re-read it for well past the fourteenth time, aloud - for that is how I best assess the quality of my work, and just as my wise leader had said - it felt right. There wasn't one phrase, word, or syllable I felt compelled to change.

I had written my first query letter. It was still July...

Watch For -Part 3 How I Found My Agent...coming soon

1 comment:

MrsSpock said...

You found an agent? Whoa baby! Now that my school plans are on hold- back to the writing board with that sample query you sent me....

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