Sunday, May 16, 2010

Never Again

Never. Never again will I write a novel without first writing the query. 007, you know: Bond, James Bond, taught me to Never Say Never at a young age, but James was a character, not a writer, and I think this Absolute is one I can get behind.

Seriously. I wrote a 500 page novel and don't know what it's about. Or I do, but I feel the bits I've attempted leaves out all that makes my novel different. There's hardly a word about the dragons, except that everything that happens is of most concern to them (ie: if my heroine/hero don't succeed, they will be wiped from the sky!) My characters each have a journey, but I feel like that is separate from the plot. All of these sound like terrible things. Like my novel is a series of unrelated events, and it's not. It's a fantasy that reads like a detective novel. And who doesn't think that's awesome? But how do I get it all in, in the space of just a couple of paragraphs? I seem to be failing utterly.

So, never again. Next time I'm writing the query first.

I would also like to do some pimpage. Adam Slade has a novella coming out on Monday! In case it's not obvious enough: it is meant for you to click the link and buy the thing. He has a teaser up on his blog. As you can see, Adam mixes in the funneh with his fantasy. Don't fear the reaper. Read his story!! :)


  1. I know how frustrated you must feel because I had a sprawling tangle of a first novel, too.

    I wrote a post on my blog, WRITING IN THE CROSSHAIRS, on how to get the big picture of your novel so that you will have the scope and direction of the action. Here is the link if you are interested :

    Have a better week, Roland

  2. Lady-gurl. I luv ya. Don't stress. You will get the query to where you want it to be. There is a perfect string of words that will lead you to the right answer/query. There will be. Hand it off to someone whose read the story, let them give you a couple of suggestions. It's just a query, the first, big one that you want to do. That's why there is so much pressure built up within this little monster. Once the words come there will be nothing you can't do, or accomplish.

    You can do this.

  3. I've got the same problem. I have several main characters and many plot threads that finally come together in a very sensible way, but there is simply too much to write about in a short query letter.

  4. Right now I'm perfecting my query. It's so hard to sum up a whole novel in a few paragraphs!

    Think about the most important part of it. Or the most important characters. :) Good luck!

  5. i totally understand.

    writing a chapter by chapter synopsis might help you salvage it. you'll probably have to go back and tweak a few things to tie up any confused ends (i did) but it feels good to see it fall into order even if it means something turn in a direction you hadn't intended before.

    also, goals are so important. the character needs a goal in every scene. and it gets them to the next and a there needs to be an overall goal. (that was where I got lost at first. it was just things happening.)

    good luck and hopefully you don't give up on this story and learn for the next one.

  6. Yep, very frustrating. I feel writing the query and/or synopsis are the hardest parts of writing a book.

  7. Funny that you say this. I've been reading 'Save the Cat' by Blake Snyder (a book on screenwriting) and he insists that you shouldn't write word one of a screenplay until you have the logline done.

    Maybe novels should have their queries written first too. I'm sure you'll figure it out though. (Chapter by chapter synopsis is a good suggestion. It can help you identify the backbone of the story.)


  8. I luv you guys.... and thank you for all the suggestions. I am taking them all under consideration. :)

  9. Hey there Bettielee. New follower here.

    I have a similar problem. I can't seem to get it together so it flows. I had to walk away for a couple of weeks and now I'm struggling just to get back to my WIP. We'll get there girl. We just can't give up.

    Thanks for sharing your struggle.

  10. Always glad to share my struggle! :) thanks for the commiseration! This is hard for everyone! **sings like Michael** We are not alone...