Okay, by now writers know the deal – life gets busier than usual sometimes, especially when you’re trying to use every spare minute you get to write for your book instead of for your blog. Not to mention if you have a bill-paying, lovable full-time job! So, hello again:-)!
I’ve had this quote that I’ve wanted to share for a while now:
And on another note, with the growing anxiety of sleeplessness and heavy thinking, I came to conclude/wonder a few mornings ago when it was still dark outside and I couldn’t fall back to sleep:
My brain is like an energizer bunny, it keeps going and going and going and going (always planning things, even in sleep mode) – I wonder, is this behavior akin to the brain of a writer? Or am I just naturally, endlessly, and perhaps a bit insanely thoughtful?
Hmmm… ponder, scratch head, ponder some more…
Since it’s such an important aspect of the writing process, I thought I’d say a few words about writing a query letter.
So, what is a query letter anyway? It’s pretty much your first impression! It’s what introduces you and your work to a potential agent or editor representative. And what do most people say about first impressions? That’s right – they last! So make it count.
The basic format of a query should be:
- Specific salutation for the person being queried.
- A one sentence “hook” saying what your book is about and how long it is.
- A detailed paragraph of the books summary, possible marketability, and what makes it different form the rest.
- A brief and concise paragraph about yourself and your qualifications in regards to your writing project.
- Close in gratitude.
Be sure to research and follow the strict instructions for each agency or individual being queried. While some may say include ten pages, others may want to see the whole manuscript. Here are a few different takes on writing and formatting the query letter:
Query Letters – AGH!
We all know that editing is a very biiiiig part of the writing process. A couple of weeks ago, one of the blogs I follow, Caribbean Book Blog, wrote a post on an editing wizard called Autocrit. Well, today I tried it out for the first time, and I’m impressed! As a guest I was limited to analyzing only 500 words of my manuscript, but I was able to get results for overused words, sentence variation, and clichés & redundancies. While I may not use every recommendation given, I liked the word overuse section because it really gave me a look at just how many times I was using particular words.
Becoming a member of Autocrit gives more freedoms like analyzing more words at a time and emailing an analyzed report. I’m definitely considering membership for at least a year. Not to say that this wizard can replace a personal editor, but I believe it can be a good addition to analyze my own work as a writer even before the editor sees the completed manuscript. Check it out and tell me what you think!
(Image from google.com)
Whose job is it anyway? The topic of book marketing came up recently in one of my linked in groups. Many writers noted that marketing was very difficult from their end, and most preferred to leave that to professionals in that area so they could focus on writing. As I get closer to completing my novel I have been thinking about marketing. I agree that the marketing process is a bit time-consuming and tedious, but the fact remains that authors cannot simply rely on others to create a presence for their work. It’s very rare to find someone who truly believe in your work as much as you do as a writer, and when you do cherish that opportunity. Yet, I believe it is essential for writers to also market their own work to increase success.
I once heard in a writing course that if a word or phrase sounds too great, it probably doesn’t belong in the writing! Over the years I’ve noticed this to be true many times. And I’ve grown to be less grudging when removing them. Just because something sounds great to you doesn’t mean it fits where you used it or at all in the book. This takes time accepting, but acceptance of this fact, I believe, means growth as a writer because you are less willing to sacrifice the overall story for what sounds great that second.
When I began writing my first YA novel, I started with the working title masterpiece because really which author won’t want their next novel to be a masterpiece? As I wrote more and more, the title came to me as Metamorphosis. It was totally genius! What better title would describe the whole theme of my book and the experiences of the characters, the main character especially? As time went on I finally settled with Metamorphic so as not to stem so much from the process, but from the trait itself.
So, here begins the journey in blog for my first YA novel!