I’ve done three drafts of my query letter and lots of tweaks in between, and I still feel as flummoxed as when I first started.
My husband says I should be having fun with it. I have fun when I’m writing my novel and it shows. I should have the same fun with the query.
He’s right that I’m not having fun with it. I’m stressing over it. I want it to be the best representation of my book. I want to get it right.
To that end, I keep reading query letters online that have worked and use them a template for mine. But, as I’m realizing, that only works on a very basic level with query letters. It works with the paragraph in which you talk about yourself and the one in which you talk about why you’re sending to that agent/editor.
But it doesn’t work for the paragraph in which you talk about the book.
There’s only one writer who can write this particular book the way I’ve written this book: me. And trying to shoe-horn my book into the styles of other writers is just coming out flat and forced.
In my preparation for writing this query letter, I read a lot of research online about what works and what doesn’t. I read just about every successful query I could find. All this because I was so scared of doing mine, so convinced I couldn’t do it on my own. But in all that research, the one thing that kept coming through over and over is that the writer’s voice, the voice of the book’s character, should be in the query. That means me.
I’ve closed my document that has all my other drafts (I’ll save the paragraphs about me, etc., those are fine) and opened a blank slate. I’m going to try to forget the way all those other successful writers described their books and find the way I would do it, how my character would describe his story.
After a good night’s sleep.
Wish me luck.
And I hope you’re doing better on your query than I am!