Friday, August 20, 2010

Hate is a Strong Word....

Everywhere I go, in every agent blog I read, in every comment I peruse I see people curling their noses at the thought of writing queries. Agents explain that they know how terrible it is to write them, they offer advice to get through the terrible ordeal.... and I don't understand it!

I have yet to complete an entire novel but that doesn't mean I haven't taken a stab at the query process. I've completed four that match stories that have never seen the light of day. How, you might ask, do I write a query when the story isn't finished?

Its simple. When I get a story idea I think of the story as a whole. Characters, events and all in a very general sense. I know I want girl and boy to fall in love, but I also know I want villain to make their love dangerous, or storm to kill boy at the end. I have a very general idea of what I want to happen, and I write my query from that point.

Anyway, I dont mind writing queries. Sure its hard work summarizing all 70,000 words into a two paragraph blurb meant to catch the agent's attention. Sure its nerve wracking knowing that the query is the only thing you'll ever write that's guaranteed to be read. But why does that make it a bad thing?

In my experience, if you have fun writing the story, then why wouldn't you enjoy the challenge of the rest of the process? Editing is tedious, but it makes your story better. Querying is just as tedious but equally exciting. (For me anyway.) And I have yet to experience the rest of publishing but I will, and when that happens I'm sure the challenge will be just as enjoyable as the rest.

I think people forget that if your novel never see's the light of day you've still accomplished something that not many people can do. It takes guts to spill your heart on a page (or keyboard) and complete a full story from beginning to end. It may not feel like it, but you've accomplished something, even as the rejections pour in.

Its important to be more than proud of yourself, no matter what the outcome, and if you have that attitude there's no reason not to enjoy every part of the process in your attempt to see your book on shelves, including querying.

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