Monday, December 6, 2010

Moving On In Querying

After waiting fruitlessly (and with realistic expectations, so I'm only a teensy tad disappointed) for a couple of months for word of the QueryShark on my query, I revised it, added a hopefully interesting blurb (though now, a day later, I'm not so sure it's not just confusing *sigh*),  and mailed five more queries of my first novel to prospective agents yesterday.

No answers so far. ;-)

I would have sent it out to more than five, but several agents are on a hiatus till January and not accepting queries at present. Which is probably a good thing, since now I haven't wasted all my possibilities just yet.

As of yet, I have only sent queries to agents who request a query letter and the first one to five pages or the first chapter of the ms. Those agents who also want a synopsis are cooling their bytes on my TBC (to be contacted) Excel-list.

The reason for this is that I haven't finished a single synopsis I've started. Summing up a 97k word novel on two pages is hard. Writing a synopsis is every writer's dread (I've read - and now have (badly) rhymed), but what makes this even more difficult is the different kinds of synopses the agents prefer. One wants a 2-page synopsis, another wants 500 words, the next 2000 words or 5 pages. Basically, for every agent who wants a synopsis, you end up writing a whole new summary of your story.

My plan is to write up three of these dreaded compendiums over the holidays: a very detailed one of approximately five pages, one between two and three pages, and a one-pager - which is hardly more than the query letter itself, but has to reveal how it all ends. Self-appointed deadline is December 31st.

Deadline for next outgoing query wave: January 9th.

I'm juggling a lot of deadlines lately, some self-appointed, others not. Obligatory and first priority is my master thesis, which has to be delivered by January 31st. The obligatory presentation of the accompanying six-week project I worked on is scheduled for January 25th. A self-inflicted obligatory deadline was NaNoWriMo, which I managed successfully a couple of days early. Then there are the synopsis and new query deadlines I mentioned above, both completely self-appointed but also completely personal and therefore just as important, or maybe even more so.

The biggest looming deadline at the end of the year, is, as always, Christmas. Or rather, buying Christmas presents for loved ones. Since my bank account is currently stuck on starvation-mode, I decided to make instead of buy. I have great ideas about what to make, but am lacking time as seriously as I'm lacking money. I suppose, in the end, it will come down to a healthy mix of a little bought and a little made.

Fascinating, really, how Christmas always takes everybody by surprise.

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