Return of the Query Letters

Last night I finally sit down and did it. As per my New Year’s Resolution, with a new title under our belt, I sat down and wrote a new query letter template.

That this query actually got done makes it one of my more successful New Year’s resolutions. We have all made those ones about eating healthier, working out more and so forth, but we always say ‘just one more quarter pounder from Micky D’s’ or ‘just one more day without going out for that jog’, and the next thing you know another year has gone by and you have to break those promises all over again.

But this project has taken up two years of my life, and is honestly the most promising thing I have ever worked on. I wasn’t going to let it sit any longer, for my sake, and those who helped me make it this far.

It was a long process. I started at around 4 and didn’t finish the draft until 7. Much of that time was spent reading various examples of successful query letters and the commentaries by the agents who accepted them on the Writer’s Digest series. Yes it takes up a lot of time, but if this was getting done, it was getting done right.

Yes, my query will not be as strong as some for a few reasons. For one I don’t exactly have a good bibliography to show off. I have never published any written content before. No articles. No short stories. No books. That will certainly put me in a bit of a bind, but it is highly doubtful I am the first author who sought to publish their first major written work.

With the first attempt at freelance editing underway, I put this query in the drafts of my outgoing email, and it is slated to be sent to four additional agents. I now have three more pages of agents to look through on Agent Query, and then it is on to Query Tracker.

This new template is not exactly an artistic triumph, but it is far superior to the queries I previously sent out. While looking over some successful examples, one that caught my attention was one that the author actually wrote in character as her lead. Such an exercise could prove to be an interesting experiment, and it would better showcase the style in which the manuscript was written. That is the template I plan to try next.

Whatever ends up being more successful, there was a certain feeling of accomplishment that came last night while I stroked the keyboard to bring about this latest query. A far greater sense of accomplishment then I felt in as many months.

Honestly, I am a bit hesitant to post the title here just yet. Though it is pretty much our final choice after much trial and error, maybe I will hold off on it for a little while longer. Wait for just the right time to reveal it in a big way and disappoint you all.

That was a poor attempt at a joke, but I digress.

This book is going to get published. I am not sure how exactly, but it will get published. Whether it be by traditional means in finding an agent and a publisher, by self publishing and paying a pretty penny to put it on shelves, or putting it out there in the digital world to be purchased at the click of a mouse. It is getting out there if it kills me.

Creating stories isn’t just my love or passion. It is one of the few things I am actually good at. I am not terribly skilled at computers, I find mathematics to be tedious, I would be a pretty horrid lab assistant to any scientist and that is to name a few. But coming up with a story, creating characters to tell it, finding out what it means and finding a way to touch people. It just feels so indescribably correct for me.

I also know that stories are a very important part of people’s lives. They can get you through bleak and unforgiving times by offering a ray of hope as to what may come next. I know of many stories that have done that for me. Even my own characters have kept me going, as I hope they will eventually do for someone else.

What is the point of having a dream if you are not willing to share it?


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