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Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday's Muse~Critique Sisters

These wonderful ladies are what fed my muse last week. Without them it would have starved and likely died a horrible death. What would cause such a hardship on my muse you might wonder? The dreaded query letter. It is the price of completing the editing process. If you read my post on my Critique Sisters Corner then you know writing a query letter is like pulling teeth for me. Don't get me wrong, it does get easier, but I'm not sure it's something that will ever be easy for me.

Query letters are creative selling, not creative writing, which is why they're so hard for me. You have to dig deep and figure out what about your novel is going to appeal to agents, then bring it to the surface. With only one short page you must convince the agent your novel is worth their time and interest. My Critique Sisters helped me hone my query letter and inspired me to start submitting my new novel.

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to both visit my Sisters and attend the SCBWI Western Washington conference. I'll tell you all about it soon! What inspired you last week?

19 comments:

  1. So glad you had a great time with Karlene and Linda. What a wonderful muse for you....

    Good luck in the query process. Elana Johnson is giving a free download of her book on how to query. Head over to Literary Rambles.... http://caseylmccormick.blogspot.com/ There you can get the link.

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  2. I wish I had known about the Western WA. Conference--I might have been able to make that one. Bummer! I hate writing query letters. Hate them! :-)

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  3. Query letters are indeed a spin on the ear for most of us. Distill 400 words into one page! Ah, actually, we have to distill it in one paragraph.

    Ouch!

    I'm glad you met like-minded, great-hearted friends and got to attend yet another conference on top of that! I envy you, Roland

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  4. Michael, we're having a great time. We're bummed that we didn't get to chat with you, next time though! Thanks for the heads up on Elana's book!

    Shannon, I'm sorry I didn't talk about it sooner! That would have been great to see you there!

    Roland, ugh, yes queries are the worst! But they can be oh so worth it when we get it right!

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  5. Heather it was great to have you in our city! So much fun. I love that concept... creative selling. Wow... you've inspired me.

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  6. It's wonderful having you here, Heather! Don't leave, we've still got workshopping to do!

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  7. Oooh, I can't wait to hear ALL about the conference. It was great that you got to see your fellow Critique Sisters (They are soo sweet - LOL, I feel like I know them.)

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  8. Karlene, aw thanks! I've been enjoying Seattle!

    Linda, I hate leaving! There is always workshopping to do! LOL!

    Karen, you'd love them and I know they'd love you!

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  9. Sounds like a great conference. It is so fun to meet the people in real life.

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  10. I totally sympathize about the query letter. I probably spent 40 hours on mine. Elana Johnson is offering From the Query to the Call for free. You can download it--just go to her blog for details--www.elanajohnson.com

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  11. Josh, I gleaned more than a bit of info from it for sure! I met my Crit Sisters years ago but it's always great to see them in person.

    Natalie, thanks for the link, that's fantastic.

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  12. YAY!!! What a great, happy picture! I know a few other authors that were there and said it was a lot of fun, but exhausting!

    Queries...blech...that's all I have to say about that.
    erica

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  13. nothing. i'm feeling bummed. BUT, i'm so glad you are having fun and learning lots! can't wait to hear about it. i never did check out your query letter. i haven't been around the blogs much at all these past few weeks. off to look now. christy

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  14. Erica, I wish I would have known! I could have asked their names and looked for them!

    Christy, don't worry, we all need time off every now and then! I'll give you a full report soon. :)

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  15. You're so lucky to have the ladies to help you! I absolutely can't wait to hear about the conference--there's really nothing that big here, so we live vicariously!

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  16. I am really lucky Amie you're right! The Critique Sisters are the best!

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  17. Having a group of people to help workshop your query is SO important, it's great that you have that! I think for me, the most invaluable thing I did to help my query was enter a contest that forced me to get the pitch itself under 175 words (at least, I think that was the length). I always need reminding that less is more!

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  18. So true Meagan, a group of people to help is priceless! You make a great point about honing down the pitch. Sounds like that was a great contest!

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  19. LOL on it gets easier. Sure it does :P He he. Yes, you are right. It does get easier as you learn more and have input from the awesome that is a critique group. _Thank_ goodness! Love the WW Conference. Been going four years now and just can't imagine not attending.

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