Friday, February 26, 2010

Querying, Querying, and More Querying

Unfortunately nothing new to report here. I've sent 5 queries (about a week or so ago) and have gotten back 4 rejections, which I hoenstly expected. So, what I've really been focusing my time on lately has been re-vamping my query letter and synopsis, because I know it can always improve. I feel that though writing prose for my story comes easily, it is SO extremely difficult to write a good query. I have mixed feelings about the query process. I know it works for most and it's completely necessary for agents to sift through the good authors, but it's frustrating because I don't feel a query letter properly portrays the author's writing ability. Query writing is a completely different style than writing a story--one I find completely difficult. Argh.

But I've gotten helpful books from the library and I've been working on getting it just right before I send it off to more. I strongly believe in my story, I love it, and I KNOW there are others out there that will love it too. I just have to find a way to portray that in 2 paragraphs. I got the comment from my best friend, also an aspiring author, who mentioned that though my letter hits on the points and is professional, it doesn't give the reader nearly the same emtotional connection as my story does--meaning, the writing sounds completely different than my book. I tend to agree.

So, how do I change it to fit? This is something I might struggle with for a while before I actually feel satisfied with the outcome enough to send in more letters--if I feel satisfied at all. I tend to be extra critical, so it's hard to say.

With the help of many family and friends who have read my book/are reading it, I have made quite a few edits, so thanks everyone for catching all my little typos and mishaps! Book writing is definitey a process and it scares me a little to think of what would happen to my life if I did get published. It's a harsh business world, like any other business, and am I really ready for that side?

My answer, I've decided, is yes. If it doesn't interfere with my family (they are first and foremost), it will be worth it. Writing is such a JOY in my life and the rest is a joy if it means I can get the things I am passionate about out there for other people to enjoy also.

On the same note, writing is such a joy that even if I don't get published, I will continue because I feel like it is such a part of me. I have at least 3 other story ideas in mind and I'm so anxious to start them all! I love it and even if it forever stays between myself and close family, it'd be worth it.

It is a little disheartening though to think about all the hard work I've put into it, just to keep it for myself. That's where the option of self-publishing comes in. It's not something I even know how I feel about yet, because there are so many cons to it, and even if it is something I will think about, it's not the time.

Anyway, thanks again everyone for your help and feedback!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Movin' On Up

Okay, so THANKS AGAIN TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED ME TWEAK THE SYNOPSIS (especially Steve...HUGE help)! I think it's where I want it, and so this week I am planning on getting to the nitty-gritty process of searching for appropriate agents and submitting my query letter. Writing the synopsis was the hard part, so I'm not too concerned about the rest, since I'll just plug that into each letter I write--with personal touches to each agent, of course. So wish me luck!

Oh, and here's the final draft:

Raegan Fairbanks refuses to move on with her life after the death of her husband—even a year later when a most unexpected mediator unites her with the mysterious Lucas Cross. Raegan and Lucas can’t deny their distinctive connection, but only upon learning they share the same dark tragedy does their bond cosmically fuse.

Lucas, the unrivaled soul with an empathetic ability to heal Raegan’s grief, guides her through the torturous healing process. In pulling her through denial and cynicism, their divine friendship in turn offers him renewal but, irritatingly, leaves him wanting.

However, through revelation of an ominous secret, Raegan and Lucas realize their tie extends beyond innocent parallels. Buffeted with new tragedies and reeling self-discoveries, Lucas finds himself descending on a path of self-destruction where Raegan, a new hurdle in his downward spiral, may ironically prove to be the only means of his survival. Can she live up to his ideal of “personal savior,” or will her desire to free herself drive him to devastation?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mini Synopsis...updated!

First off, I want to thank everyone for the input! Each and every comment was extremely helpful and I've taken something from each one. I can totally see the benefit of writing forums and groups now. But who needs one when you have amazing family and friends to give honest advice? :)

Anyway, as I said before, it was my roughest of drafts and my purpose for posting it was the NEED for outside opinion. So, in taking everyone's criticism, it helped me view it from the outside and do a little reconstruction. THANK YOU! I left most of it the same, except moved around wording here and there, according to what I felt was best.

I have to say that writing synopsises are like death to me. Hate them with a passion. How do you scrunch a 300+ page novel into three paragraphs and entice the readers without revealing too much at the same time? Ugh...it's a difficult process.

Anyway, I want to address a couple comments I got about confusing sentences, etc. I have tried rewording a few of them, but in my experience and from what PERSONALLY entices me, I think mystery is good. You don't want to reveal a lot--just enough to get the reader wanting to figure out why such and such happened. So I guess in a sense, a little "confusion" is good...right? I mean, not to the point where you're thrown off completely, but its all about mystery. I like reading a synopsis I have to stop and ponder a little, possibly reread a few times, because that's what entices me--maybe a sentence with deeper or double meanings--and then trying to figure it out, possibly as I'm reading it. But I'm weird. :)

And on another note, this doesn't just serve as the "book flap" description. I didn't mention this before, but this is basically what my letter will consist of when I query agents. In countless research for what the mini synopsis should consist of, especially for an agent who needs to know the basics, it's better to lay it out. So I don't know. Finding that balance is hard. Also, as far as your comment, Kadie, about not giving a "this happens and this happens" sort of structure (and I totally see what you were saying, by the way), the reason I form it that way is because agents don't want background on feelings, outcomes, etc. They want to know the actions, the happenings in the book. It's all very tricky, querying.

So all in all, most likely this would never be a "book flap" description, more of a hook to snag an agent, so that's what I'm catering it to. And then when they request a full synopsis, I sweat even more and give them the detailed beginning, middle, and end. That's almost worse.

Also, keep in mind that this isn't going to hook everyone (I have to constnatly remind myself of that). Just like there are certain agents that represent certain genres (I will be selective in only querying agents who represent this taste), there are different audiences to different books and I am well aware there are a mass of people who wouldn't be the slightest interested in this, and that's okay. I just have to think (because I know there have to be more people out there like me) of what I would want to read, and if I'm being honest with myself, this is something that would probably grab my attention...partly because I'd be thinking "What the crap happens?"

Anyway, now after my tangent, I want to again thank everyone for the comments and constructive feedback--I honestly appreciate every word of it! So, here's the next revision. If there are any more comments/feedback, please feel free. I'm still incredibly new at this and each hurdle (tee hee) is a learning experience, so I need all of it I can get. :)

"Raegan Fairbanks refuses to move on with her life after the passing of her husband—even a year later when drawn to the mysterious Lucas Cross by a most unexpected mediator. Raegan and Lucas can’t deny their distinctive connection, but only upon learning they share the same dark tragedy does their bond cosmically fuse.

Lucas, the unrivaled soul with an empathetic ability to heal Raegan’s grief, guides her through the torturous healing process. In pulling her through denial and cynicism, their divine friendship sequentially offers him like renewal but, irritatingly, leaves him wanting.

However, through revelation of an ominous secret, Raegan and Lucas realize their tie extends beyond innocent parallels. Buffeted with new tragedies and reeling self-discoveries, Lucas ultimately learns it’s him that’s descending on a path of self-destruction. Raegan, now a hurdle in his downward spiral, ironically proves the only means of his survival. Can she live up to his ideal of “personal savior,” or will her desire to free herself drive him to devastation?"

Mini Synopsis

So, this is the first and roughest draft of my mini synopsis for November Rain. Again, I'll emphasize roughest because usually the first words coming to mind need plenty of work. I'm putting it out here for opinions, so please comment and let me know what you think--if it's enticing enough or needs work.

Imagine going to the book store, pulling a book off the shelf, and reading the inside flap with a brief blurb describing the book and trying to pull readers in. Thinking of it that way, how does this measure up? Thanks again for everyone's feedback! Oh, and if you're curious as to the feel of this novel, in my imagination I'd like to think it would appeal to those who enjoy Nicholas Sparks and like novels--boldly stated. :/

"Raegan Fairbanks refused to move on with her life after the passing of her husband—even a year later when pulled to the mysterious Lucas Cross by the most unexpected mediator. Raegan and Lucas can’t deny the special connection drawing them together, but only upon learning they share the same dark tragedy does their bond cosmically fuse.

Lucas, the single soul with the empathetic ability to heal Raegan’s grief, walks her through the torturous healing process. However, in pulling her through denial and cynicism, their divine friendship sequentially offers himself the proper dose of renewal and, irritatingly, leaves him wanting.

Upon learning their deceased spouses shared the same dark secret, Raegan and Lucas realize they’re more connected than they thought. Being hit with new tragedies and reeling self-discoveries, Lucas soon learns it’s himself that’s headed on a path of self-destruction. Raegan, now a hurdle in his downward spiral, proves the only means of his survival. Can she live up to the ideal of his own personal savior, or will her desire to free herself urge him into devastation?"