Welcome, Insecure Writers! If you haven't yet joined this wonderful group--created by Alex J. Cavanaugh--jump over here and fix that!
Are you feeling insecure about writing a query? Me too!
Two of my books were released last year, and when I go back and read the queries, I'm so proud that I wrote them. The query for The Boy Who Loved Fire helped me sign with an agent. It's perfect for that book.
As I entered the "new query" stage for another project, I was frozen. I couldn't snatch the words floating in my head and put them in a logical sequence that captured an entire story--even though I'd drafted a query pitch before I wrote the book. Was I losing my skills? Had I taken a step back?
No. It felt this way before I wrote the query for The Boy Who Loved Fire, and before I wrote the query for The Summer of Crossing Lines.
The trick for me is to do the following:
- Research "how to write a query," to remind me what works and what doesn't.
- Dive in.
Diving in can be the hardest. But once the crappy words are written, they can be deleted, replaced, and shaped. We can't do that with a blank page. So my crappy words are written, and I'm in the pruning stage. I'll get it right--with time and hard work.
If you're insecure about the query, like me, here are some links that may help: Writing a Query Letter, by Elana Johnson; articles about writing a query by Janice Hardy; and How to Write a Query Letter over at AgentQuery.com.
How about you, fellow writers? Do you struggle with writing queries? Have you nailed it? Any tips you can share with the rest of us?