Not Quite A Query

This post had, like, a bunch of different starts. There was kind of a depressing one, and then a sad/disappointed version (thanks, FCC) and then one centered around our work Christmas party. Don’t we look cute?

My love of Home Alone. His love of Seinfeld.

But I think I’m going to keep it writing-based. BTT: I’m officially sick of it. Someone, please, take it from me. Take it and (hopefully) enjoy it and tell me what I need to do to make it better. Because, like most Disney movies from the 90s, I have every word memorized. (Not a good thing.)

So, to keep from further eye-twitching, I’ve decided to focus on writing the info part—because that still isn’t done yet. I’m not really sure when we’re supposed to be writing the query, besides right before we query, but I should probably have one on standby, right? For like, BETA readers who want to know what the book they’re agreeing to read is about. I scribbled this down at work today:

“After what happened three years ago, Autumn Sommers knows to avoid Alex Wolf. But when a school assignment brings them together, she’ll be forced to move beyond their past—with the one person who can’t seem to forget it.”

Stupid, right? And kind of vague.

It’s a first draft, people. Seriously, this part is sometimes even worse than the actual writing. Because you’re writing about something that you know EVERYTHING about, so it’s hard not to want to say absolutely EVERYTHING that happens. I mean, how do you take this ginormous adventure and squeeze it into a few sentences? It feels damn impossible. But you’re supposed to do it. And if that wasn’t fun enough, you have to make yours so *amazingly* seductive that it’ll pull average Joe Schmoe reader from someone else’s book to yours.

So now we ask ourselves: what’s the most exciting/important things that the reader needs to know? For me, personally, it’s the ‘incident’ that happened—you guessed it—three years before. Then it’s the fact that my protags are being forced together. The tricky thing is that the conflict doesn’t necessarily center around the ‘incident’ – not entirely. It exists in the background, but I’m unsure how to describe the other events by saying “this happened” and “that happened.” No one cares what happens. They only care if you make them care and the only way to do that is to hook them in. So… let’s try this:

“If she could, Autumn Sommers would forget that day on the bus. But since she sees Alex Wolf at school, she can’t. Now, after three years without talking, the two have been paired on a class assignment. How will she get the A she needs when she’s partnered with the only boy who refuses to talk to her?”

A little better, but not by much. I’m telling you guys, THIS is the real fun part. For all of your readers and *super non-writers* THIS is the part that makes us want to scratch out our eyeballs and pick up the bottle because OH MY GOD DOES THIS PART SUCK. And this isn’t even the query, folks. It’s just the hook paragraph. That sum-up (I’m totally forgetting the technical name), that few sentences that make you want to buy the book.

But I shan’t give up!

Attempt Number Three:

“If she could, Autumn Sommers would undo that day on the bus. Then Alex Wolf wouldn’t glare at her all the time, and they might actually be friends. Now that they’ve been paired on a school project, Autumn will need to forget about what happened three years earlier and hope Alex does the same. But neither one expects what comes next.”

Eureka! Still needs to be reworked a bit, but at least we’re onto something. 😊 At least there’s potential!

Alright, I’m off to go reread some more of what I’ve written for Book 2, which isn’t totally terrible. I’m excited by this, guys. I am. So I’m going to hold onto this feeling as long as I can. What is it called again – hope? Yeah. I think it’s hope. Hope this may actually be something.

Maybe.

7 thoughts on “Not Quite A Query

  1. Kathy says:

    Good luck. Queries are so hard. For BETA readers, it’s not so bad. When you’re trying to land an agent or pitch a story to an editor? (shudders). Yeah, like I said, good luck. 🙂

    Like

  2. C.D. Gallant-King says:

    Yeah, I totally agree. Trying to distill the whole story down to a few lines is the hardest part.

    Your third one is good! I didn’t think the other two were bad, either. But what do I know. I’m terrible at this. 😛

    Like

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