Sunday, 10 February 2013

Synopsis Sins and Querky Queries

I'm now at that stage in a writer's career where I step off a cliff and hope a stranger will catch me.

Well, that's what it feels like a little anyway, as I now must trust the next stage of my novel's life-cycle to someone else.  While the latest technologies make self-publishing an option, I'd still like to pursue a more traditional route first.  (In an earlier post I believe I referred to self publishing as being a bit like DIY plastic surgery.  Nip-tuck-print  Not saying I wouldn't do it, but it's not my first choice).  The problem being, of course, that traditional publishers don't take unagented work.  And I like the idea of an ally to help me sell my manuscript.

So...I'm sending out queries in the hope that an agent I would like to work with manages to catch a glimpse of my work glinting like diamonds in the pile of other submissions and decides to rescue it from unpublishedness.

In the process, of course, I had to write query letters and a synopsis.  It's harder than it sounds to make a novel length story sound good in a short space!  But fortunately I found some things to help.  If you're in the process of writing query letters or a synopsis yourself, I recommend the following books, articles, and links:

  •  "From First Draft to Finished Novel" by Karen S. Wiesner.  I can't say enough about how wonderful Karen's book "First Draft in 30 Days" is in helping to plan out a novel and this follow up has some good advice for synopsis writing and query letters.
  • The December 2011 issue of "Heart to Heart", the Romance Writers of New Zealand newsletter.  The whole issue is dedicated to getting an agent, query letters, etc.  If you're a member of RWNZ or can get your hands on it in any other way (in my case by sleeping with a member of RWNZ) it's worth doing so.  Actually, their newsletters are always good so it's probably worth joining.
  • Writing a Solid Query Letter - advice from The Knight Agency webpage.  They have other helpful advice there too.  Well worth a read.

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