Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Man...I hate query letters.

Well, fortunately I'm getting close to finishing Baptism for the Dead. I've been doing a lot of revising and polishing as I go, although of course there will still be plenty more to do when I finish the latest draft...but I estimate I've got about eight weeks of work left on the book. That's a great feeling!

Not so great a feeling is the realization that I've now got to craft a query letter. The last time I went through the process of writing one it was the fall of 2009. It's been almost two years and I'd forgotten how intensely I hated writing that last query letter. Uuuuugh.

Presenting more of a problem than the mere fact of query-writing is the unique theme and structure of Baptism for the Dead. It's got a whole bunch of parallels in it to a particular LDS temple ceremony, and because of that structure my protagonist/narrator has no name.

Where the hell do you start with a query letter for a book that has a nameless protagonist? Jeeze! At least with books that have named protagonists, you can start with the basic "When (protagonist's name) tries to (achieve goal), (conflict happens), and (stakes) are at stake..." and build from there.

Any ideas, party people? Help the Libster out!


  1. "When (protagonist's name) tries to (achieve goal), (conflict happens), and (stakes) are at stake..."

    Excellent! Now I know how to start my query....

    Though I'm probably more than eight weeks away.

  2. Once you get a good query letter nailed down, it seems to help tremendously with the editing and revising processes. It also helps with creating the perfect pitch and jacket blurb, as one seems to run over into the others. Work on 'em all together and you may be happily surprised with what you come up with.