Lessons from My Reading

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.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

So. What do Agents Feels About Queries?

Several blogs back, I mentioned Janet Reid's formula for a good query ... ie. one that might give her a positive attitude when she reads your sample ... provided your query lures her on. A query that's low on description and high on action.

I was trying to use her formula for my new query for "Dark Solstice", using Linden as the focus rather than Mariah. So, I had been thinking about queries a lot before NaNoWriMo, trying to get away from describing feelings to show action. Still, I've talked to several people who think writing queries is a waste of time, too hard, or ????? Since self-publishing is so easy, they say, I should just go that route.

Jessica Faust gives an agents viewpoint on why a query is important in her Bookends Blog: The Archaic Query. She considers it just another craft skill which writers have to master. The upside? It allows agents, and probably publishers, to work through their submissions faster.

While we're thinking about queries, agent Rachelle Gardner wrote a blog on interpreting "agent euphenisms": Decoding Query Rejections. What I found interesting: she linked to Janet Reid's Query Shark as a place where writer's can get a specific reaction to their query -- if their query is lucky enough to be chosen. Though I should warn you Janet Reid isn't as nice as Rachelle Gardner.

Then, there's the other end of the process, getting some publicity for your book -- whether traditionally or self-published. The Passive Guy gives some good tips on using Good Reads to reach a targeted market of readers. He makes such a good argument that I may have to go back and visit the site regularly in addition to Facebook and Twitter. After NaNoWriMo, of course.

How am I doing with NaNoWritMo?
I'm behind, of course, but not by much. Sunday threw me off my count when I went to Denver, and I was short yesterday too. Still, I've discovered a completely undreamed of character who is central to the mid-story conflict that launches my main character into deep doo-doo, only I don't know what she's going to do to get out of the mess her contentious attitude gets her into.

PS: Got a good laugh when I discovered all my typos after I published an except of "Combine Mythos" yesterday.  Oh, I'm also thinking of calling the story "Combine Blues".
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