Sunday, November 1, 2009

Putting a Big Box Inside a Small Box

Current Reading: Now and Forever, by Ray Bradbury

Inspirational Quote: "Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." -- Howard Thurman

Well, in theory, this is my last week of waiting to know my employment fate. In reality, who knows?

I've been writing a query for the Magnus Somnium. The novel is not ready to approach an agent yet, but I thought I'd post a query to Critters as a way of requesting readers for the manuscript. Anyway: writing a good query? Harder than it looks.

It's the literary equivalent of trying to pull your whole house inside-out through the front-door keyhole.

I mean, describing the story in 250-or-so words? You've really got to figure out what the important points are. I can do it in a sentence, but that's easy. You just drop everthing but the protagonist and the conflict. But when you have to add in some details, maybe an event or two, the whole thing blows up into unmanagable proportions.

It's like there's no middle ground.

Of course I lie. There is middle ground. Successful writers find it every day. It's just a skill in which actually writing a novel gives you no practice.


Amalia T. said...

I have a harder time with the synopsis than the Query. The query still seems short enough to get a grip on, but the Synopsis is what explodes out of control for me. Good luck!

Ulysses said...

Thanks. I have yet to tackle a synopsis, and I am afraid.

Amalia T. said...

I usually start with chapter summaries and work backwards, but it takes me forever, and I get really frustrated with it. It just feels too much like homework.

Ulysses said...

Yes... homework, exactly.
But, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

I keep making my kids do their homework. If I don't do mine, I'll feel like a hypocrite.

Richard A. Kray said...

Queries are less describing the story and more making the agent want to read the story. Cliff hanger it, put in only the suspenseful stuff, anything you want. And, of course, read The Query Shark blog!