Monday, July 5, 2010

On queries

I think I'm getting better at this query writing business. In just two days I've managed to whip off a (I think) very lovely query letter that (I think) really expresses a certain tone, and characterizes the main characters and conflicts perfectly.


It's hard. It is hard, definitely. But somehow, with this WIP (FAKE), it melted off my fingers. And I think this is because I wrote this novel with a query in mind. I didn't have the query written before the novel, but I was thinking ahead to it.

It feels like FAKE was written with a kind of streamlined plot. Not that the plot or story is very simple, or one-dimensional. I just think it's tangle-free. My other WIP, Ambulance, is complicated as shit. There are four main characters, and they're entangled in this crazy love square, with extremely complicated relationships and feelings for each other. I would constantly throw in new aspects to their relationships, new characteristics, and it was way too complicated ("He's like this, and it's an allusion to that, and that means that this guy feels this way about that guy!!!!").

It is so hard to adequately explain these crazy relationship dynamics in a query, and since I almost invariably fail with almost every query draft I wrote, anyone reading the query is left totally confused about what the story is really about.

I think Ambulance was just too convoluted. It has too many layers of plot & character interactions, that had been laid on and overlapped over four whole years of writing and made even more complicated by my own growth as a writer over those four years. FAKE was written in two months. I kept it simple. I was looking ahead to the query letter. I was writing what I knew I could boil down to a few paragraphs later.

And I'm infinitely relieved I figured this out!

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