As any one who's read this blog for a period of time knows, I've struggled with the lovely query letter. S-T-R-U-G-G-L-E-D!! In fact, the query gives me nightmares. Ever been chased around in your dreams by an almost blank piece of paper with the words query letter across the top? Oh, did I mention the paper is able to laugh. Yeah, I know, a bit strange and demented! A. Bit! Ha!
I think I can put writing the query up there with my fear of spiders and bees. Okay, I'm not afraid of bees, but I just don't like things that sting . . . repeatedly. Ever been chased by a bunch of hornets? Oh, I have, and I had the 21 (well, maybe not that many, but multiple) stings to prove that theory. It wasn't pretty, but it was quite humorous to my friends watching me run up the street screaming and swatting at the dratted beasts. Yeah, I didn't get the humor either.
So, I've struggled with the query. S-T-R-U-G-G-L-E-D! I'm still struggling, but, there is hope.
I was working on my one sentence pitch earlier in the week. Yeah, one sentence to describe 120,000 words of brilliance. Yes, I know, too many words, working on that one.
I'd write a one sentence pitch.
I'd scratch it out.
I'd write another one sentence pitch.
I'd scratch it out.
I'd write . . . well, I'm sure you get the picture. Repeatedly writing and scratching, writing and scratching, my stress level rising and not a margarita in sight. Then . . .
I realized (I'm a bit slow every now and then) that I was approaching my one sentence pitch from the wrong angle. You see, this book I'm going to query has multiple (remember that word, it's very important) perspectives. M-U-L-T-I-P-L-E! So, I'm like focusing the query on a single perspective, which is what you're supposed to do, but . . .
It was the W-R-O-N-G perspective. GEESH! I had the brilliant idea to write the one sentence pitch from one of the other perspectives and - BAM, Emeril time - the sentence began to gel together. It's not that what happens to the other character(s) isn't important, because it is. It was only that, for the pitch, I needed the strongest, most powerful, greatest impact perspective to grab (hopefully, fingers crossed) an agent's attention. Well, DUH!
Yeah, I told you I'm a bit slow at times. All this time I've been focusing on a single character (yes, supposed to do that, check marks for effort), just the wrong one. Once I focused on a different character - wham, bam, give me a slice of country ham - I knew (goosebumps) I had the right character! Woo-hoo!
So, if you're struggling with your query, your one sentence pitch, take my advice: shift your focus a bit, especially if you have multiple characters perspectives within your however many words of brilliance.
Last, but never least, here are some links to help with one sentence pitch. The first three are all from Rachelle Gardner's blog from a recent contest, and the others just offer up some helpful advice.
Now, off to the linkity-links and may wisdom come to you sooner on this subject than it did to me!