OK, so I’ve completed a first draft. I’ve even done a couple of significant rewrites and done several editing passes.
Just a few hours ago I was feeling pretty good about myself.
Then I decided to do some research about the next steps, and I am starting to wonder if writing the damn book is the easiest part of the whole process!
The main thing that has me concerned has been a series of articles and blog posts on the subject of a “query letter.” A query letter is what an author sends to an agent to get the agent to decide whether to offer to read the book. That’s all.
In reading the descriptions of what agents love and hate about query letters, I have started to realize that I’ve got a LOT of work left to do on this book. To stretch a horrible metaphor, all I have done so far is create a rough approximation of the final story, sort of like I’ve taken a blob of clay and have shaped it into a stick figure of a person before working at all on any of the detail and uniqueness of the piece.
The one single comment made over and over by agents in response to “what do you want to see in a query letter” was this: “Explain in a single paragraph or two why I would want to read your book.”
Wow. You know, all this time I’ve been working on my book, my whole thought has been about why I want to WRITE the book.
But that’s really not even the point.
Now I have to go back and look at the book from an entirely different perspective so I can answer the question of why anyone would want to read it.
“Because it’s good.” Ha.
“Because it’s got great characters.” Tell me about it.
“Because it’s got great action scenes!” Right.
“Because it’s about magic and exotic lands and places!” So is a travel guide.
Why would anyone want to read my book?
Gonna have to think on that one for a bit.