Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Queries and First Chapters - Things to Avoid

In case you didn't notice, I finished the rewrite.  With everything else going on, I totally forgot to celebrate.  Woohoo. 

Of course, finishing the rewrite means I now have other stuff on my mind - like editing and querying.  Last night, amidst a rousing discussion of universities and what we can or can't afford, I dropped out and started working on my query blurb.  After several attempts, I think I have a good beginning.  I haven't looked at it yet today, so whether that was just my tired brain going 'This looks awesome, now go to bed' or it was actually pretty good remains to be seen.

In keeping with the direction my brain's been going, my eyes landed on a link I hadn't seen before: Agents' Chapter One Pet Peeves.  Thank goodness I haven't done any of those in this draft.  (And for more, head on over to Part Two.)  Oddly enough, over at PubRants, agent Kristin Nelson talks about what she's seeing - but doesn't want to - in queries.  So between those two places, it's kind of a lesson in 'what NOT to do'.

With as tight as the industry is right now, I don't want to do anything to bulldoze my own work under the pile of rejections.  Sometimes this whole thing feels like a puzzle game - where you have to do everything in perfect sequence to move on to the next level.  Here's hoping that this is the book where I've hit everything in sequence and the door slides open. 

Keep your fingers crossed for me. 


  1. Fingers crossed! Great links and I wish you the best of luck. I am in the query trenches myself...and yeah, it is a tight industry right now!

  2. Congrats on finishing that rewrite, B.E.! Woo Hoo, indeed! And good luck with the querying (a horrible place, but one you need to navigate in order to get to the next step).

    Good analogy - puzzle pieces. I wrote a blog a while back comparing querying to the game Snakes and Ladders - kind of a 2 steps forward, multitude of steps backwards.

  3. fingers triple crossed!! best of luck with everything!!

  4. Congratulations on your re-write B.E. I will keep my fingers crossed for you. Best of luck.

  5. Fingers crossed for you!!!
    I nervously went to read the no-nos and was so happy to find I hadn't done them. Phew!