July 24, 2011


Please, read the title of this post and picture me standing at the foot of a towering edifice, tilting my head back into the pouring rain and yelling for all I'm worth. Really, I could be shouting "Stella!" or "Attica!" or "Kahn!" Take your pick.


I am now *officially* in the process of querying agents for my book. The book is...done. Sort of. The thing is, I feel like I've read every sentence fifty times. I've crafted each paragraph to the best of my writing abilities, and it's come SO far from where it was when I originally wrote the final words. But in my day-job I am a computer software quality assurance tester, and as I always say with testing software, the more you let me test, the more bugs I'm going to find.

Same thing goes for my novel. Every time I read it, I find something else I want to change. So I decided last week, it's now or never. And I sent my first queries out into the world.

The first one was easy to send. No one ever gets an agent on their first query letter, so I knew it was a throw-away, a way to gain experience and maybe some feedback. I didn't sweat it.

By now, I've sent six. Doesn't sound like a lot, but it does reflect three or so nights of researching, emailing, copying and pasting. I only have a couple of hours (if that) per night to devote to my writing career. Querying essentially means I'm not actively working on any books right now.

So, to that end, I like the queries that I can easily send off in one night. I like the agents who ask for just the query letter, and I love the agents who allow emails. If you want a couple of chapters, too? No problem. I can copy/paste like a champ.

But some agents want to see more. Some agents want...a synopsis!!


Ohmigosh. A synopsis of my book? With absolutely no other direction of the kind of info they want? Are you kidding me?

Hardest thing I've ever written. Period.

Because...I assume they want to know plot points, right? But when I tried to focus on that, I got bogged down in the weeds, and my transitions were all "And then...but when...and then...but when..." I actually sounded a LOT like I did the night when I was way too drunk and tried to tell Charles the entire story of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. "And then this happened...and it was scary and intense...and then that happened....and it was scary and intense." That's fine for an amused husband, but not so much for a literary agent.

So I scrapped that. Fast. But then I wasn't sure how to say, in a coherent and rational way, that this is a book about zombies, but it's also a book about good versus evil, about staying civilized in a world that's entirely not, about keeping your sense of humor and ability to love even in the darkest times. How can I say that? Without just copying this paragraph and sending it to every agent out there?

I am stymied by this request for a synopsis. Completely stuck. I want every word to be perfect, and that has me paralyzed.

So maybe it's time to just get it done and forget about perfection. It'll never be perfect, but I think I can make it effective.

I hope.


(P.S. Don't even get me started on the bio some ask for...how to make myself seem funny, sweet, snarky and intelligent, all within a few paragraphs? I have no idea...)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good luck! We're all rooting for you!

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