Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Dreaded Query

So, I stopped blogging.  

That's pretty obvious when you look at this post's timestamp and the post before this one.  

I did not stop writing. 

Why did I stop blogging?  I felt that I kept making goals and not hitting them.  I felt like I was talking about being a writer, but had no finished novel.  I promised myself that I would not blog again until the whole submissions process was ready to go.  I started and then finished a new project.  I revised and revised and revised some more.  Then I found a nice friendly batch of beta readers who read my WiP and gave comments.  

Then I revised some more.

Now my manuscript is ready to go out to the world of agents...  But I have to take my 90,000 word masterpiece and condense it to a couple paragraph query letter.  God, this is scary.

Hailey Troubare had planned on being a Scholar, but when the Edge of the World begins to crumble she must swap books for daggers to battle political intrigue, her family, her lover and the gods themselves in order to save her planet.
Hailey’s mentor is murdered, but the authorities blame his death on old age.  Hailey investigates and uncovers a clandestine organization concealing a prophecy that could eradicate the Edge.  Unfortunately, the prophecy would also release a creature so evil that even the gods fear it.  Hailey believes that saving her world is worth risking the rest of the universe.  Others, including the father of her unborn child, disagree.  Civil war ensues.  Hailey fights against heartbreak, archaic prophecies and sword-wielding mages all while knowing that even if she succeeds, she'll likely lose her life.
I have been writing creatively for my own enjoyment since I could pick up a pencil. I have my BA in Mathematics from Roosevelt University and work in Chicago as a Director of Development in a web software company.
Complete at 90,000 words, PROPHECY’S PROMISE is a first-person fantasy.  The full manuscript is available upon request.

Two questions:
1) Any thoughts on the query?
2) For those of you who have published, how many agents did it take?

6 tidbits:

Zoë said...

I used to follow your blogs and it is so funny to see you pop up again in my reader 2 years later! Did you and your husband get pregnant yet? Congrats on finishing the novel... I still have a lot of work to do on mine. I am basically rewriting it because of major issues. BLAH. I did do a query before I decide to rewrite though. Try AbsoluteWrite if you're looking for advice.

My own impression is that it gets a little "list"y at times. "political intrigue, her family, her lover and the gods", "heartbreak, archaic prophecies and sword-wielding mages". I think it's better to show some specific examples of these things, why is she battling her family and lover? what archaic prophesies, etc. Rather than just listing them.

Obviously I don't have an agent and don't even have a finished novel at this point though, so take my advice with a grain of salt maybe!

Zoë said...

p.s. I was just reading through your blogs again and I just feel like I can relate to you so much (or at least you 2 years ago...) I'd love to talk to you by e-mail or something if that's not weird. Your planner mentality is something I've been struggling with lately myself, but not in a positive way. If you happen to get this and want another writer-ish buddy maybe, let me know!

Lucas Darr said...

First off, congratulations! Finishing a novel is a great accomplishment and one worthy of singing about. In the choice between finishing a book and working on a blog, the book should ALWAYS win.

On to your query: it starts out strong and then you try to cram a synopsis into it, so I agree with Zoe. Highlight the stakes and give enough detail to support entice an agent or publisher to go "AND THEN WHAT!?!?!?"

With that that said, your query has a certain voice to it (especially at the beginning. That's the hardest part, ha!

Good luck. How exciting! Now you need to work on another book while this query is out there.

Lauren said...

@zoe - no, not quite ready to try, we keep talking about it and all our friends have kids. Thanks for the thoughts on the query! And I'd love to have another writer buddy! my email is

Lauren said...

@anthony - thanks! It's very exciting. And I'm getting started on the next one, which is fun too :)

Charles Gramlich said...

The query reads well. As for agents, I signed with one and two months later she had a critical health incident and retired. I was on the list with another agent who spontaneously decided to stop representing fiction and focus solely on nonfic where he was making more money. I quit looking for agents and sold my stuff to the small presss publishers.

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