Agent, Editing, Feedback, Fiction, Novel, Query, Revision, Words, Writing

What a difference a word makes

I promise this is the last post on my query letter woes—that’s because I have no more woe. I have relief. I have joy. And I owe that to one three-letter word.

Wednesday, after I ordered myself to suck it up and write the danged query, I panicked. It was all well and good to commit to write, but I still didn’t know what to write. I opened the Word file compiled of my one billion previous query attempts and read each of them, hoping to spark new inspiration.

None of them were horrible, some were too long, one too short, all of them a bit boring … although the last version did garner two partial and one full requests. (Still no word on that full.) But the major change to the beginning of my novel, necessitated a new query. So for a couple of hours, I cut and pasted, and added and deleted, and ended up with another “almost” version.  It still needed a better hook, a sharper focus.

By then, it was time to make a drive across town and back. I decided to make the trip in silence—okay, I did offer occasional helpful advice to lousy drivers. I threw out a challenge to my characters. Pitch your story to me. Nothing. I distracted myself by wondering if anyone in my family would read my book once it’s published. When I considered one of my sons and his wife, I thought, They would read it for sure, if I’d written a book about running.

Run. R.U.N. Zowie!!!

I did write a book about running. In both the literal and figurative senses, Jalal runs. With that smack to the forehead, I had the perfect focus for my query. I spent the drive home drafting variations of opening hooks. As soon as I could, I sat down and wrote the new query in about twenty minutes. Then I sent it off to my “editors.” Yes, I know, I vowed in my last post to trust my writing, but I’m not stupid. Even the best writers need feedback.

Typically, while I waited for their responses, I edited the query.  Yes, I’m sure I do I drive them a little crazy with this habit. After they sent me their advised tweaks, I considered those that still applied and edited again. Now—ta da—I have a brand new query!

I’m excited to find out if it’s a winner. I think it just might be.

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26 thoughts on “What a difference a word makes”

  1. You must feel so great after your brain made that metaphorical connection! How exciting. Best of luck with your new query and sense of rightness with your new-found hook. 🙂


  2. I love those aha moments! That’s exciting. If you feel good about it then I’m sure it’s a good one. Good Luck! I have my fingers and toes crossed.


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