Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why We Query...and other dull points of Writing Interest

For purposes of pure torture, that's why. How does one cram the whole body of a novel into two or three very tight, very succinct paragraphs? For the past three weeks, I've been working, thinking, dreaming and living with this one paged nightmare crammed inside my head. And I've finally come to a conclusion.

Well...duh. Everybody in the publishing biz is looking for a pitch. They're sick of the dog-drooling, self-serving authors out there. Well, I don't know about you, but I have been caught with my mouth hanging open at a conference or two before. "Tell me about it..."

Ummmmmm. Well, it all begins when...blah-blah-blah. And then that's it. I'm tongue-tied, my eyes are bulging, and I'm looking for my first means of escape. But what I've come to find out is that I'm not practiced and polished, I don't have the plot nailed down in my head. For me, that is a danger. Back to the drawing board, you'd say. I get it. If I don't know it well enough to talk about it, it's not all there to begin with.

So...after a year of returning to the drawing board, revising and rethinking. I finally think I've written the book I set out to write. The characters are clear. There are four of them, well...four sisters telling the story, which means four voices whispering their parts. There are many characters in all. In the past, taking those four story lines and condensing all of them has been a problem. But the art of reduction, boiling it down, looking at it, practicing and polishing has finally helped me to get to where I thought I was before. And now? Voila! The query begins to take shape...and it is not so bad after all.

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