Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thirteen Days Left & Other Nonsense

There are, as of right now, thirteen days left in my querying cycle for Memories of the Dead, and after that, there are no further queries to be made, sent, or probably ever receive a response from those to whom I sent it. That day will mark the end of PLAN A, and the beginning of PLAN B, which I've informed you all about prior.

The thing is, I'm sort of happy to see the second phase of my devious master plan come into focus. The queries I've sent out haven't got the attention needed--probably my fault, as queries do, in fact, suck a whole lot; and I find them actually harder to write than the actual novel--and that's the thing, the whole query process, being broken and all, is all there is and I--just like everyone else--have to "like it or lump it." I get to "lump it," it seems. Frankly, I think everyone "lumps it" since nobody likes queries: they are the bane of all authors.

It's bittersweet, really. I like the story, others seem to as well, the readers I have all think it's "worth something" (define that as you will), but apparently I've managed to make something that isn't quite within my reach of ability to market successfully. That's the real bummer. I can write a book, some 68 thousand words long, but can't manage to craft a sales-blurb of less than 250 words that seems to hook an agent. I just don't "think" in those small of terms when I write, sadly. It's a skill I don't have, but appreciate immensely.

Along the way, I've received good feedback from agents--well, the ones that bothered to write something other than a form letter rejection--they use words like "compelling," "interesting," and "intriguing." But even those positive words from their own lips was not enough to get them to ask for a full; although I did manage to snag one who requested a partial (50 pages).

Even getting this far is no easy feat. When I started out, it seemed to me that the story would be no more than about 5000 words, I guessed at the time. But before I knew it, there were multiples of that sitting there before me, and the tale wasn't even done being told. The lesson I learned is, I am not good at guessing length when I'm envisioning a story.

I'm very happy to say, "I wrote that!" Even if others might question it's worth or value. Not everyone can say that they've written a book--many plan on doing so, but fewer still complete the journey even once. I can take some comfort in that. And now, I'm well on my way to book number two, MINIMAL--perhaps the querying for it will be less troublesome. We'll see.

But I digress (terribly so, it seems), in less than two weeks, the journey that is Memories of the Dead will change course and head down untested waters to tributaries unknown. What will I find there? Perhaps nothing; but perhaps something will be there, in that undiscovered vista, that makes the entire trek all the more worth while.


  1. I found out the strangest thing about my queries - I only write them well if I write them before the book is halfway done. Then I tuck them away and save them. :)

  2. I actually did that too. And I even performed 5 revisions. Sadly, I think querying is not my forte, which is apparently the real measure of a writer, not the content of the book.