December 7, 2017 Update: All Things Great and Droll

So, I’m querying. Mmm, the hallowed ground of writing business letters to literary agents, if by “business letter” one means a formulaic if strangely creative construct meant to display one’s utter lack of ability to pitch the glorious novel just completed.

“Dear Mr/Ms. Agent,

John Doe only wanted to find his birth mother that fateful day, the orphanage file clutched in his hand…..

….. But as fate would have it, the portal opened up to a strange, dangerous world instead. If John were to survive and save both worlds, he would have to tame the dangerous power within him before his mother’s killer found the Risen Stone again.

My novel, Upon the Rising Tide, a young adult epic fantasy, is complete at 350,00 words. It won the prestigious High Pitches, Young Pitchers 2017 contest.”

Ah, what sweet sorrow is the stream of rejections! “Thank you for interest in Pulliam, Derskstrom, and Fink Literary. However, we just didn’t  connect with your story the way we should. This is, however, a subjective industry.” We writers so know and love the form rejection letter. Likely as much as agents love the firehose of query letters they receive.

Of course, we writers know these agents have made a huge mistake! They were chowing on their Banh Mi far too fast and missed our wondrous pearl of a novel. Our query wasn’t one of those that showed an amateur writer, who hadn’t been working on his or her craft, who hadn’t formatted the query or manuscript the right way, or tried to squeeze in a joke, or wrote the query in the POV of a character, or had just gotten all folksy.  No, this was a masterpiece they had missed. Poor agent.

Such is life. So, we query and query again. The first dozen sent and then revised, and then the next dozen, and then the next two dozen, and then soon a hundred. Then, on to the next novel, better written, the craft even more perfected, the characters more robust and aching, the plot dripping with intrigue. On and on, our day jobs plodding with ever more delirium.

See you on the other side.


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