Friday, December 3, 2010

Seven Stages of Query Letter Grief

Seriously, I have been staring at my computer screen for like three hours and have



Writing query letters really makes me feel like: x-( 
{not to be confused with constipated}

this is that face in words:

1) My book has no plot or conversly, it has too much plot and just can't weed out all
    the crap that isn't important
2) I don't know my own story
3) I'm going to throw my computer.
4) Maybe I could bribe my 3 year old to write my query for me.
5) Maybe he could write the story too.
6) I should never attempt to write again.
7) Blogging about how much I hate queries might help

aka: the seven stages of query letter grief.

No happiness right now.

Not for reading. Not for writing.



Francine said...


Query letters: probably easier to write than a synopsis or blurb.

A very business like query got me published first-time around. No hype, no gimmicky popping of character speak etc.

Nothing more than Dear .....

Please find enclosed[Title]....... .... [word count]along with two page synopsis.

I look forward to your response in due course.

yours faithfully


Basically if the title doesn't ping the eyeballs, the synopsis then reads like a boring composition/thesis, be sure an ed/agent won't even get to first few pages of manuscript.

best hint for success
1) be business like in query letter
2) have a Wow title
3) write a gripping synopsis
4) make the first few pages simmer with tension and emotion: the two things that make a reader sympathise with at least one character if not both, bearing in mind one might be the bad guy/girl!


Rachael Harrie said...

Hey Jodi, sending you massive hugs. You can do it!!!

Francine's given you some fantastic tips. And my tip of the day - write your query letter before you start writing your first draft (or at a very early stage). Because it's a shiny new idea, it seems exciting, and it helps keep you on track with your plot as well :)

Glad it's not the same as constipation ;)


PS - I'd love to take part in your query blogfest, but am seriously jammed with family stuff, revisions, and other things so swore off most blogfests for the next little while :( Might be able to swing a late entry though, will see how the week is panning out :)


Quinn said...

I'm going to second Rachael's advice ... write the query before the book. That's what I did before my current book. It really helped to keep the query clean and focused. Of course, now I'm finished the book and the story changed a little. Well, the main story didn't change, but I added an extra love interest who I now have to somehow work into the query.

Queries suck.

Jodi Henry said...

Francie--Thanks for the tips. I have noted them for future use.

Rachael & Quinn- I have done just this w/ a new idea simmering in my brain. Too bad I didn't try it with my current novel. *sighs*


Christopher S. Ledbetter said...


I'm right there with you! I'm still trying to craft a query for your blogfest. Self doubt smacks me around like a rag doll at every turn. Hopefully, I'll craft something worthy of the story it represents.

Ax said...

I agree that queries are easier than a synopsis. Both still make ya contemplate finding a fairy ring, driving some bamboo splinters under your fingernails, and performing black magic under a harvest moon to just make publishers accept your story rather than go through the process of query writing. :p

J.C. Martin said...

Chin up, dear. At least you won NaNo this year. Congrats on your winner's badge by the way, and thanks for the reminder of your cool upcoming query letter blogfest! So much going on at the moment and I needed the gentle reminder!

WritingNut said...

Oh Jodi.. I'm so sorry to hear that you're having such a tough time. Don't worry, I'm sure you're going to get through this - maybe try to treat it objectively? Kind of like a reviewer, then go back and put you in it?

I'm not sure if this will work, I'm not at the query stage yet, but I'm absolutely terrified, and I can see myself in the same spot.

If anything, in a little while we can commiserate together, but I have full faith that you'll pull through this soon!

Good luck! :)

Jodi Henry said...

Thanks guys for all the suggestions.
I wasn't really going to throw my computer, but blogging about it did help.

I actually cranked out a query letter yesterday and it isn't half bad. Well, maybe it is.

Well see, becuaes I am using it in my query letter blogfest.



Dan said...

Yeah, that's pretty much how I feel. "Query Letter" sounds so dainty and elegant. I'm thinking of calling mine the Brick Wall instead. Because that's what I feel like I hit sometimes.