the not-so-fun part of writing

I finally finished my WIP.

I can’t write that with a straight face. I keep tweaking my stories until I send off the final galley proofs. I never feel it’s done as well as it could be. But we all have to call quits at some point and get one with it.

Now comes the part I hate: writing the synopsis and query letter.Image result for finished meme

I wrote a synopsis and my critique partner told me gently it needed work and then lowered the boom: “I love the novel, but, sad to say, I would not have read it if I had to depend on this synopsis to learn what the story is about.”

Maybe I wasn’t sure what the story was about. I had to re-read it to see where it was going. So I spent several days re-writing the synopsis.

Then I started the query, and believe me, it has taken a LOT of time to come up with three paragraphs that set the hook, tell a little about the plot, and leave the reader panting for more. I honestly think I could write a whole new book in the time it’s taken me to write those paragraphs. And I’m still not satisfied.

Once I am, though, the next step is to start sending said query and synopsis to agents/editors/publishers (I’m not choosy). I decided not to self-publish this one, although Riverbend is doing better than I thought it would on Amazon. I checked today and there are two new 5-star reviews and one is not from a friend or relative, but a perfect stranger. I want to hug her.

And, I forgot to mention, it took me days to come with a title. I had a working title, but it didn’t work. I created a list of titles and then sat down and looked them up on Amazon. Some were taken, several times over. I know titles are copyrighted, but I didn’t want to duplicate another book. For example, there are several Riverbends out there, and quite a few Angels Unaware. I wanted one that no one else had taken. If you are are curious, the title is To Love a Liar.

So it’s going to be a busy summer as I try to find this book a home.

 

 

 

 

 

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The next step

Believe it or not, there is something more difficult than sitting down and writing a book.

The writing is the fun part: creating characters, plots, and scenes in your head and translating them to paper a Word document.

No, the hard part is the query letter. This is the letter that MUST grab an agent/editor/publisher’s interest and prompt them to ask for a full ms. Just as the first paragraph in your book should grab the reader’s attention and get them to read on, the first paragraph of the query letter should state your heroine’s goal, how she means to attain it, and what stands in her way, and make them beg for more.

I’ve written query letters before. Some have gotten the desired results; others have done nada, no matter how much I tweak them. So I know how important this is. I probably struggle over this as much or more than I struggle over the opening paragraphs of my book.

Still, it is doable. What I really dread, even more than the query letter, is the synopsis. Some publishers or agents want a few paragraphs with a general idea of what the book is about. Others want as many as 5 or more pages of

Jim, me, and our three sons, taken before Jim passed away.

Jim, me, and our three sons, taken before Jim passed away.

detailed, chapter-by-chapter descriptions. I can’t blame them, they haven’t time to read the whole book. They just want to know if it is worth their time to ask for it.

I’m no novice at this game, but each time I go through the same agonies. I suppose that is natural. I  had three babies and the second and third deliveries were not easier than the first!

But the results were worth it. I have three fine sons and three grandchildren I love dearly.

So here goes the query letter. Wish me luck that the results are equally worth the effort!

 

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I am finally settling into my new 9-5 schedule. It feels good and I am accomplishing a lot more. More

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