Sunday, December 5, 2010

Query Letters-Round Two

I sent out my first query letters on October 24, 2010. I have received eight rejections on my query letter alone. Two agents requested partials, but both issued rejections with the nicest compliments.

One agent said my writing was straight forward making it a breezy read, but that my work was not right for them. Another said she enjoyed reading my work and thought my story concept was good, but that she could not relate to the writing.

Now, some writers I know would not take the above as compliments. But, think about it-agents are busy people. They must read hundreds, or even thousands, of partial and full manuscripts each year. Legitimate agents make their money from sales of books written by writers they represent. It is important for them to think the work will sell, otherwise they don't make their money. Thus, for an agent to provide any kind of personalized feedback in a rejection is a true gift.

At his point, I still have eight agents I am waiting to hear back from. I know from reading their guidelines, some will only contact me during a specified time period if they are interested in my work. Soon, it will be time to get another round of query letters in circulation.

Writing a good query letter is a must. According to those who have read my query letter, it is well drafted. The point of the query is for the agent to want to read more. I have wondered if my query does not have enough story information, or if my hook is not strong enough. I think before I send out the next batch, I will play around my query a bit and see if I can make it stronger.

Writing a synopsis is another story. I have condensed my 70,000 word novel into about 1,000 words, but it must be shorter. It must include the main characters, the plot and the meat of the story, as well as the ending.  It is not a this happened, then this happened kind of deal. My research tells me a synopsis must be similar to the inside cover of a novel.  I've been working on my synopsis for weeks, just in case an agent asks for one.

Anyone who ever said writing is easy is wrong. The writing itself is hard work, but the query letter and synopsis are grueling! Perhaps next time I will share my experience with writing my synopsis...that is, if I have it completed.

Until then- happy writing!

To Go Oxford....or Not

Do you use the Oxford comma or do you omit it? Some grammar sages say to either keep it or omit it, unless omitting the Oxford comma will...