query letters? query letters. query letters!
So if I want to pursue an agent, I need to write a query letter. It’s actually been on my radar for awhile, but I’ve not attempted to put words on the page. This past week I’ve gotten a little more serious about it. I read through the links I’ve collected over the past year and even attempted a synopsis of the story. I’m trying not to let it scare me.
Just for eventual shock and awe value (after I revise this a million times), here is the very first, very rough draft of the synopsis. In fact, it’s so rough I don’t think it even counts.
Em Stillson is a fifteen year old girl whose dad uprooted her from her lifelong hometown. After her mom died, Em tried to freeze life, building a wall around her heart to keep her emotions in and her memories out. But when her dad moves her to a new town and demands she returns to the soccer field, Em begins hearing her mom’s voice (something the therapist her dad forced her to see warned her about). As much as she tries to ignore new friendships and the competitive spirit that makes her an all-star athlete, Em finds it impossible to keep life from moving on.
I’m reminded of the letter my husband (Andy) and I wrote to potential birthmothers. You get one shot to write the most accurate, genuine, and specific SHORT description of your life. A query letter is the same for a novel. It’s as much about what I put in as what I leave out. The way I craft the words will speak as loudly as their meanings.
So just like the letter to potential birthmothers, I’m spending a lot of time thinking and imagining and jotting down phrases (and praying) for the right words to make the best query possible. I’m at the point where I just need to write it. Today. Now.
Once the words are on the page maybe it won’t feel so daunting.