Jun 1, 2011


No, it's not deja vu. I've learned a lot since a week and a half ago about writing a query letter for the novel. Thanks, Lindsay! Lindsay has loads of useful info on her blog. And I think her novel, Encrypted, rocks.

First, the pitch should be 8-12 sentences. In science fiction and fantasy, world-building must be balanced with the story and character in those sentences. The pitch should revolve around the inciting incident in the novel -- the event which drives the novel, the event that without there is no story. And it better show up in the first 50 pages of your manuscript. Basically, once you've got that inciting incident, you're using the first 30-50 pages to write the pitch. Because that's where all the magic happens. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it. So, you're not trying to fit the whole story into those 8-12 sentence, only the first 30-50 pages.

Did this help me? Yes. A lot, but I still struggled. I kept working on it then I remembered that the pitch paragraph is akin to the blurb on the back cover, so the agent in the webinar said. Well, "duh," I said to me. There are hundreds of examples of successful queries right under my nose. So, I dragged books off shelves and piles in my genre, flipped them over and read them. Aha! Aha, indeed. There was my road map.

So, does this mean I now have the perfect query? No. But, it really helps to surround myself with examples and compare. Which ones excite me the most? Which were the reasons why I bought that book? How can I make mine sound more like that one? Aha. So, I get closer to an acceptable query. My target audience gave me a thumbs up on the 537th version. Now it's off to my critique group to help me give it more snap and lose a few words.

Revision is almost done. I'm currently rewriting the final three chapters. I'm trying to channel some Babylon 5 drama inspiration for it and am taking my time. Endings need as much love and attention as beginnings. Should end up with about 93,000 words. Then I get to finish revisioning the second novel I wrote. Yippee? Hmm. I need to schedule in time to make progress on the new WIP. Ah, that's the topic for Friday.

Learn anything new and groovy lately? How's your WIP coming?

And, yes, I'm still having commenting issues and still can't comment on some blogs. I have been reading though. Some of you, I've found alternative means.