Monday, January 25, 2010

"Q" Isn't Just For Queries

It's also for queasy, quaking and quivering--all of which I feel when I send off a query.

At the last Storymaker conference, Rebecca Talley made me promise that I would embrace querying and get my stories out there. For one reason or another I didn't get around to fulfilling that promise--until the start of this year.

Without any more excuses it was high time for me to write a query and synopsis and begin the terrifying process of searching for an agent to represent me and my work.

Now, forty queries later, I can honestly say querying isn't as scary as I feared.

Mainly it hasn't been so bad because there are some excellent tools out there that helped me, and maybe they could help you too.

I forked out a whopping ten bucks and bought Elana Johnson's From the Query to the Call. Written in Elana's easy-to-understand and witty fashion, I finally "got" the query. Elana has an excellent worksheet that helped me break down my story into bite-sized pieces that could easily be manipulated into a one-sheet query letter.

And while her book doesn't directly address the synopsis, she has some excellent links to articles that were as easy to grasp as her book.

If you have the chance to attend the LDS Storymaker's conference this spring, be sure to say hello to Elana. Her query workshop is full now, but she will also be teaching two additional classes on querying--you should check them out.

In addition, QueryTracker.net offers an excellent service designed to help writers find the right agents for their work and to track their progress. I highly recommend it.

As for me, every time I send out a query I'm still quivering in my boots--but not because I don't think I have a strong query. Sending your work out to be judged by others in a highly subjective business is terrifying. Period.

Still, if I can do it, you can too.

3 comments:

G. Parker said...

looks good! I think I need that book...

L.T. Elliot said...

I bought this book too and can I just say? Elana is a genius!

Don't be quivering. You're an excellent writer and that call's coming soon!

ali said...

Elana's book IS excellent. Thanks guys!