Of Camels and Queries


Okay, so I’ve got my manuscript all polished and pretty. (Well, let’s pretend I do.) Now what do I do?

Write a query letter, of course.

No problem. I’ve got a wicked pitch. The plot is distilled down to one paragraph; I can see it right there in my mind’s eye. And the cliffhanger ending enticing the reader to want more? Of course it’s there! Really, what agent wouldn’t want the unique epic detailed in my book?

At least, this is what I tell myself. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have the chutzpah to take on the task at hand.

So, with bold courage, I open a brand new Word document, flex my fingers, and…

…stare at the blank page for several minutes, completely at a loss as to what to write.

Wait. What happened? I thought I had the one-line pitch down!  And where did all the compelling, tension filled, riveting phrases that kept me up half the night before go?

Then it hits me.

It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is to write a query letter. (“Adapted” from The Book of Mark, chapter 10, verse 25)

When I’m stuck in the decision-making rut, I try drawing on past experience to shift the direction of my tires. There’s no sense in going back and forth in the same tracks, right? Self-reflection reminds me that confusion can be resolved by acquiring knowledge and experience. Both of these lead to wisdom and with wisdom comes the desire to share and help others.

In that vain, here are some helpful resources for those in the throes of query madness. Please note that this is NOT an exhaustive list, but they’re the sites I’ve found most useful. Believe me, I’ve got them bookmarked. And I’m open to taking suggestions of other sites y’all have come across.

http://absolutewrite.com/

http://ktliterary.com/daphne/

http://queryninja.blogspot.com/

http://queryshark.blogspot.com/

http://querytracker.net/forum/index.php

Final thought: You know, the query letter is just as much a work in progress as is an evolving manuscript.

I think it’s time to get back to my blank page. Wish me luck.

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