Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Writing a Query – The Hook

A lot of people start their queries with “Dear So and So, I am writing you a query because I saw that you represent YA fiction and… blah blah blah.”

Okay, if you can’t come up with something better than that, maybe you shouldn’t be a writer. I would say do a “I am querying you because…” letter only if you’ve actually met the agent, or are being referred by one of their clients.

For my novel, tentatively entitled In the After, I skipped the intro and went right to the heart of my book. Here is the example of the hook I used:

In the After

Amy has not spoken in three years. Not since They arrived; creatures with incredible hearing, amazing swiftness, and a taste for human flesh. They hunt by sound and Amy has learned to survive in a world of silence.

As you’ll notice, I didn’t state the name of my book in the first paragraph, so I used it as a header. It’s important to get your title in, but you don’t want it to come across as awkward.

More tomorrow on writing a short synopsis.

Monday, November 29, 2010

What is a Query?

So you’ve written your novel, revised it, polished it, and feel it is ready for the world. Unless you have a relative in the publishing business, you’re going to need an agent. Most publishers won’t give you the time of day unless your manuscript is brought to them by an agent.

In order to snag an agent, you have to write a query. A query is a basic, one page letter that tells them what your work is about and who you are. You don’t want to fudge the query, or you’ll never get your foot in the door. Think about it, you just spent a year pouring your heart and soul into your work; you want to represent it in a way that expresses all the passion you feel. If you can’t convince an agent to view your work, you won’t convince a publisher to publish it.

Queries usually have three parts:
1) The hook – What makes your book awesome?
2) The synopsis – What is your book actually about?
3) Your bio – Why should anyone care that you wrote this book?

The rest of the week I’ll break the query down and give advice on writing each part.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Read, Read, and Read Some More

So you want to be a writer. You joined a critique group, took writing classes, and attempted to sell your soul to the devil to get published. You're on the right track...well, except for the soulless part. One more suggestion...read.

So, say, just off the top of my head, you want to write YA Science Fiction and Fantasy, you have read everything you can get your hands on in the genre. You don't have to love every book, but think about what works and what doesn't. The more you read, the better your writing will be. I've read books and wondered, "How did this get published?!" then gone back through my writing to make sure I haven't made the same mistakes.

Next week (after the holiday) I'll go through the process of getting an agent, starting with queries. There's a ton of info on queries out there, but I'm going to break it down. Soon you'll grab an agent's attention and be on the road to becoming published.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Half Italian + Half Greek = All Crazy

So my name is a little odd, I'll admit.

Demitria is actually a fairly common Greek name, although I've seen it spelled Demetria more often than not. People sometimes drop the a and call me Demitri, which I'm pretty sure is Russian...and also masculine.

Lunetta is Italian and means little moon. I think this is also a first name, and sometime people think my name is Lunetta Demitria, instead of the other way around. Childhood was a little rough when everone else is named Sara or Lisa or Anne.

So what does being half Greek and half Italian get you? Well, I'm extrememly passionate, but I can't cook. I've been to Italy and hope to make it to Greece soon. And (Sorry to all you Greeks out there) I much prefer Italian food. There's something about roasting a whole goat that puts me off.

More (about writing) tomorrow!

Monday, November 22, 2010

First Blog Post Ever!

This is the very first post in a blog about writing and trying to "make it" in the publishing world. I have just gone through the query process and landed an agent, which I will talk about later. I'll also be writing about any great books that I've read and the random events of my life. Let the blogging begin!