M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Winning the Query Wars

Cough.  Cough.
The Springtime allergies caught up with me.
I've been spending most of my daytime sleeping in the chair with the hot water bottle, 
much to Wiggle's delight.
Thought a lot about my query though without coming up with a new pitch angle.  Darn.

The Read (modified):  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we didn't have to do queries.  Everyone would just love to open a bidding war for our immortal words.  Oh, it's time to wake up.  Hey, I can dream I could write like Charlaine Harris, can't I? 

Finished the True Blood DVDs.  My opinion:  While well done, they're just another example of how of how screen adaptations oversimplify novels.  Though Dead and Gone offered a belated explanation why women were so ready to jump into bed with Jason.  He unconsciously casts a sexual glamour, thanks to his fae heritage.  Of course, it took Harris a few books to reveal that bit of info.  --  Just another way in which the Sookie Stackhouse novels have grown.

A few words on Dead and Gone.  Harris has closed down the fae element, except for faes who decided to remain in the mundane world.  In the process, she gave the reader a rip-roaring conclusion that was only hinted at in the beginning.

[Why do I use the word fae?  The term fairy is usually used for a narrowly defined being.   Example:  Fritha, a spriggen who serves as a villain in Emma is a fae, but definitely not a fairy by any definition except a supernatural being -- and we all know how many of those there are.]

 Web Notes:  You did catch the information that Twitter is going to be archived as a culturally significant phenomena?  To the tune of tetragigabites [or some such word].  The number is bigger that the US national debt.  My computer works in the 100 gigabite realm, and with all the novel manuscripts and research material I have stored on it, it's less than 80% full.

Queries:  Am giving this it's own section.  Because I've got to push myself off the can and market the manuscripts I've "finished".  Problem?  I'm thinking I need to have them Beta Read which to me is different than critiquing.  Betaing includes reading the whole stew from beginning to end.

Will say one thing, writing a query is like going into battle ... just like selling anything is.  I think one of the biggest misconceptions about writing is that we're dealing with "art".  Even if you write literary, you still have to sell it if you want to have readers.  You have to sell your book even if you self-publish ... unless your someone like Florence Foster Jenkins.
Progress:  Shifting the words of Emma's query has become a obsession.  In stead of piles of printouts of research info, the papers on my desk are about what to include in your query and examples of successful ones.  It's an important campaign since selling your query to an agent or publisher crosses the bridge from being a writer to becoming an author.  --  I'll be writing more about queries in the near future.

Kaffy Anne Beaugarrd.  It's the manuscript I rescued from My Documents.  Threw Maren in there, and pulled out Voices of Ghost Creek, which was more than 2/3s written.  Not bad.  But, needs some major revisions which I have started to do.  All the excitement Maren extinguished has come bubbling up again.

Trivia:  Just eating lunch, having coffee, running errands, and, maybe, getting rid of the to-trade pile which is two columns tall.  I actually got some authors off the bookshelves, even including Candace Camp's weres.


Patricia Stoltey said...

Kay, I like to use a non-writer for my beta reader -- someone who loves to read my genre but will read for enjoyment. In my opinion, they are less likely to get hung up on the details and will instead focus on overall plot and character development. And it needs to be someone who will tell you the truth. What's you take on beta readers? What do you prefer?

Unknown said...

I've never had one, but I think I'd love to have a Beta who'd read for the flow of the story and how multi-dimensional/interesting? the characters were.

My problem is that most of my personal friends are into literary stuff. They were contaminated by they college experience. (They think I'm low-brow since I read commercial stuff.)

Anonymous said...

Query writing is a challenge to say the least. I've had mine edited. Twice. Only now does it look presentable. Its important to have an editor's eyes look over one's query letter.

Stephen Tremp

Unknown said...

I've had my query critique. Everyone has said every one stinks.

meyerprints said...
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Kirsten Lesko said...

I like Patricia's advice - I think I'm going to try that.

Good luck with the query process! I think it's the most brutal part of a writing career.

Unknown said...

Agree, Kirsten. Amen. Hallalluja (Or, am I supposed to say that when I get a request for a full?) Incidently, I tried to figure out how to email you and couldn't. Will try some more since I've time before lunch.