Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How to write a damn good query letter

A sickle shaped moon is lying on its back beyond the window. I’ve spent the past two hours trying to ‘research’ literary agents on the internet, and instead ending up being sidetracked by blogs on what not to write, how to write well, how to write damn well, how not to write a query letter, how to write a query letter, and how to write a damn good query letter. (http://www.nathanbransford.blogspot.com/) or http://www.poewar.com/how-to-write-a-query-letter/ or http://www.writing-world.com/basics/query.shtml or http://www.agentquery.com/writer_hq.aspx . . . and lots more.
I used to think my novel was pretty good, in a sparse, relentless ‘l’etranger’ sort of way. Now I’m not so sure. I’ve just realised it doesn’t really have a plot. And I still haven’t quite pinned down the concluding chapters, which I suppose could be linked to the plot problem. Trying to summarise a non-existent plot in two sentences kind of highlighted the whole thing.

I found some mysterious receipts of Aunt Dee’s in the process of clearing out the dresser in the parlour yesterday, along with a faded black and white postcard addressed to Fr John. Apparently she visited America several times in the late fifties and early 60’s, staying in the Hollywood Boulevard Hotel, California, on seven different occasions between 1960 and 1966.
Not once, in the whole time I knew her, did she mention visiting America.
What was she doing there? Was she drawn to the town because of its glamorous associations? Or was there something deeper going on?
Was Aunt Dee, a middle-aged single lady who worked as a priest’s housekeeper for over forty years, leading a secret other life?
I don’t know. But I’m going to find out.

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