"A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings but a cat does not." -Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Query, Query, Quite Contrary

It’s the perfect day for writing; too cold or hot to go outside, nothing worth watching on television, words and images swimming around inside your head and the desire to get them out and finally finish the last chapter of your masterpiece once and for all.
So you adjust your thermostat accordingly, put on a pot of tea, turn on your favorite music to write by and start typing away, hoping your fingers can keep up with the massive amount of words flooding out of your mind.  Before you know it you’ve just typed, The End or ###, and hit the save button. (Hopefully you also took time to back up your blood, sweat and tears) 
Still feeling invigorated and wanting to keep on writing you decide now was the perfect time to start the query letter which you know will land you the deal of the century.  After all, you have been reading everything you could find about writing the perfect query letter the whole time you were rewriting and polishing your manuscript, your mood and timing are aligned as if they were some great celestial event.   
You gather your notes you’ve so diligently collected over time and space and quickly refresh your memory:  a) Hook ‘em, b) Tell ‘em, c) Impress ‘em and d) Thank ‘em.  How hard could this be?  All you’ll have to do is grab their attention in the first paragraph, tell them what genre you’ve written and how many words and pages it has, impress them with all your writing credentials and lastly thank them for their time and explain why the two of you would be a perfect fit.  Simple, make it quick and to the point and throw in a little sugar, shouldn’t be too hard considering you just completed rewriting your manuscript in the same amount of time you could have read War and Peace threefold!
As if your nemesis, the blinking cursor stares you back in the face wanting you to become another lonely fish in its vast dark sea of unpublished authors.  You slowly watch your feet drown in piles of crumpled up paper and decide perhaps it’s time to lay your creativeness, and story, to rest. 
There is help out there . . . you are not alone.  First and foremost, never give up on your dreams, for without them you are destined to become that lonely fish in the vast dark sea of unpublished authors.
If you’ve ever played any kind of sports, played any kind of instrument or ever took up tap dancing (one of my favorite past times) then you know PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE is the key to achieving your best.  The same principle applies to authors,only you don’t have to go it alone.
Here are some recommendations The Unknown Author has discovered on their road to publication: 
PITCH UNIVERSITY has an awesome site for authors to learn, practice and apply the art of pitching their book.  (click here) 
THE CBI CLUBHOUSE is a great resource for any author, regardless of what genre they write. (click here)  
THE RENEGADE WRITER offers wonderful advice to writers whether they’re a novelist or a freelance writer.  They also offer a free packet of 10 query letters written by professional writers who landed assignments in major magazines. (click here)   
So the next time you experience another great day for writing, know you are not alone in the evil blinking cursor’s temptation.  Pick up your mighty writing sword, open up your fins and embrace the many wonderfully experienced peers you have who are waiting for you to join them in the vast colorful sea of published authors. 
Until next time,
Keep on thriving, keep on striving and keep on writing!
T.K. Millin
The Unknown Author      

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post, TK! And thanks for the mention. It's really cool when someone calls your site AWESOME!

    Diane Holmes
    Founder and Chief Alchemist at Pitch University