On Wednesdays I like to share bits of information that I picked up on my journey to publication and preparing to be published again. The kind of information I wish someone shared with me back then.
It’s also the first Wednesday of the month which means it’s time for the monthly meeting of the:
Insecure Writers Support Group
Purpose of the group: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG
The Insecure Writers Support Group is having a contest!
The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free. Word count: 3000-6000 Genre: Fantasy Theme: Hero Lost.
Visit the website for submission information! http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com
The question of the month is: When do you know if your story is ready?
What a great question! I always start with an outline so in most cases I know what the beginning, middle and end of my stories will be, usually. Once I start writing it isn’t unusual for the direction of the story to change and for an organizer like me that can be tough. I am getting better at letting my stories tell me where they want to go. I work with an editor I trust (after one that wasn’t the best fit for me) and when she says I wouldn’t change another thing, often the 3rd draft, that’s how I know my story is finished and it’s time to create a query letter.
The Query Letter
Writing the query letter is probably my least favorite thing to write but it’s so satisfying when you end up with one that feels just right.
The letter should be no more than one page. The writing needs to be as good or better than the writing in your novel/book. It is after all how an agent and or publisher will judge if they want to read your work.
You may want to write several versions of your query letter. They should be personally tailored to each agent or publisher on your list. Have you created a list? You want to learn as much as you can about each agent. Are they looking for what you wrote? From reading their bio and reading about the other authors they represent do you get a feeling you could work with them and will they be interested in what you are selling? Are they on social media? Follow them and learn as much as you can. Do they have a dog or cat or any piece of personal information that you can identify with and use to personalize your query to them.
Don’t ever pitch them on social media. Always follow the submission guidelines found on their website to the t!
You don’t want to promise them more than you can deliver. Never say everyone will love your book, because they won’t. Start your letter with a great hook, the conflict and the resolution. An agent doesn’t want to guess where the story goes or how it ends. Don’t leave anything out. You don’t have to do long, drawn out introductions of your characters. You may just want to write a short description of the main two characters.
When it comes to your bio just include information that pertains to writing the book you are querying. What makes you the perfect person to tell this particular story? Don’t reveal too much personal information such as your age, marital status etc…
At what process in your writing do you create your query letter?