Night of the Living Query

February 24, 2010

The query process terrifies me.  It overwhelms and confuses and intimidates me.  If driving a stake through its merciless heart would get my novel published, I’d do it.

I’ve mentioned before that simply writing a good novel isn’t enough.  Even supposing one has written a very good novel (which I have), has established a web presence (which I have), and has writing credits to one’s name (which I have), one is only winking in the dark until a literary agent and/or publisher is secured.  (“One” in this case being me and all the other aspiring novelists out there.)  And the key to obtaining either an agent or a publisher is the dreaded query letter.

I’ve put more hours into my query than I put into the 74,000-word novel itself.  Writing and rewriting, polishing, scrapping and starting over.  It’s an endless process.  Just when I think I’ve got a brilliant query, I get a polite rejection letter in response and it’s back to the query drawing board once more.

I’m about to send Query v. 350 out into the sea of literary agents.  Does it stand a chance?  Truthfully, I have no idea.  At this point I really don’t know what turn of phrase or “hook” is going to interest an agent enough to ask me for a partial manuscript.  All I can do is try, and if there’s one thing I have in abundance it’s perseverance.  One thing about us Cancers, we don’t give up.

But I’ve come to loathe the query process.  It wants to eat me alive, starting with my brain.

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2 Responses to “Night of the Living Query”

  1. Jackie Says:

    I totally agree, Debi. But I’m an Aries and I get all angry and butthurt each time I’m rejected. I take it very personally. I’m glad you keep on keeping on.
    I think there are certain trends that are followed and if your novel doesn’t fit that trend, then it probably won’t be viewed as a money-maker. Wouldn’t it be great if it were all about the art and not about the bottom line?

  2. Mickey Mills Says:

    Sadly, the whole agent query path of searching for publication is so subjective, it’s amazing any new writers ever get picked up that way, although I hear about it all the time.

    The industry is so tied to the bottom line, any good agent has a client base that is paying the bills and the trick is to find one hungry enough, that loves your work, and is willing to take a chance.

    It’s the lightning that has to strike the same place over and over again. I’ve read your work, so I know how good it is. You will find an agent!

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