Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Plan B...Or Is It Plan C?

K.M. had some interesting things to say about my query after I won a critique in a contest she had on her blog Moomurs. The dilemma being, as I see it, how much to give away in a query, how much to hold back to pep up the intrigue level. Anyway, in addition to Query Version 4.0 I now have Version 4.0B and come January I'll split my querying between the two versions and see what difference it makes, if any.

I've also decided that I need to really redo my synopsis in a narrative fashion to replace the sort of blow-by-blow type I've now got. That's my holiday writing task.

What most concerns me, though, is my first chapter. I like it. My beta readers liked it -- or at any rate, none of them told me it sucked. But is it turning off those agents who've had partials and fulls or the first few pages? Or is it something else? The elusive "voice"? Or ... or what? Without any feedback, I don't know.... I might rewrite the whole thing and only do myself damage. It's exceedingly frustrating, my dear friends.

I am going to go through the whole manuscript again over the holidays, in addition to doing another synopsis. One of my friends finally coughed up a list of errors/oddities he'd found, and though I'd been through the ms. at least a dozen times, I'd missed a couple of real dumb errors -- writing "surgical sutures" when I'd meant "surgical tubing" and saying someone had a "kung fu mustache" when I meant "Fu Manchu mustache."

I mean, that last one is pretty embarrassing.


  1. A "kung fu mustache" sounds great.

    For what it's worth, I don't think much of the synopsis. A letter and the first five or 10 pages. If the agent likes that, she/he will ask for more, maybe 50 or the full.

    Nobody is going to pay $24.95 for your damn synopsis.

    I know an author who got good response by sending in a sample 10 pages instead of the first 10. He didn't say it wasn't the first 10, of course. Was just a really interesting section that made the reader/agent feel as if they were being dropped into the middle of the action which, uh, is pretty much the deal.

    Tons of ways to play with it. If there's something you're not having fun with -- the synopsis -- then heck, move on to something you're having fun with. That's the good stuff that will impress an agent.

    Anyway, for whatever it's worth.

  2. I'm glad you found it useful! It sounded like a great read, though.

  3. Whatever the plan is Trav, just keep moving forward:)

  4. Yep, just keep moving forward, I agree.

    Have you posted your query/synopsis on AW in the SYW forum for critique? Those people tore mine apart and really helped me write it.

    Good luck with it. I know firsthand how much it sucks.

  5. If it'd be helpful to have another pair of eyes on that first chapter (albeit a pair of eyes embedded in a skull attached to a body not having much luck with the querying process), I'd be happy to look it over.