Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Query Letters and Revision

Is it ever to early to start practicing the art of writing query letters? That's a question I've been mulling over for awhile and decided that no, it's not to early to practice them. With novel writing, a good query letter is your foot in the door with agents. No matter how good the novel a bad query letter won't get the manuscript read.

That being said I don't currently have any novels ready to start sending out queries for. I'm planning on my query letters serving a dual purpose. In addition to the practice I figure that taking the time to write a query letter now would be a perfect opportunity to look at my novel and highlight the important parts for myself. What are the selling points? What is the main conflict? Where do I see the direction of the novel? All those sorts of questions.

Yes, I'm working on revision. Once take that good look at where I want my novel to be I can look over my draft and work on getting my novel there. An outline will help, I already have one from writing the first draft. But the outline I'm talking about for this stage is a revision outline. I'll use the main points from my query to start the outline, and work in parts from my draft outline that fit in. I'll also see what scenes from the draft will work where for the revision outline. With writing first drafts, I always have more stuff in the draft then was planned ahead of time on the draft outline.

Of course I have to figure out which novel do to this with. I have two that I want to focus on with revisions this year. My mining mystery I'm working on as part of the 2yn class over at FM Writers. I'm planning on following Zette's lesson plan for that novel revision. Which leaves me with my magical fantasy novel draft. That might be a good one to work with as I need to figure out my audience. After writing the first draft part of me feels that novel could almost be young adult. Looking at the novel and writing the practice query letter should help me figure that out.

I'll post updates on the progress here on how well (or not)this works out for me.


E. Hartshorn said...

Good luck! I have written my first query letter and hope to be sending it out . . . well, the goal was tomorrow, but I'm thinking Monday is more likely. I look forward to seeing your progress!

Claire said...

Thanks. I plan on posting the progress of the query practice and revision here as I work on it.

Good luck with your query.