(... um, if life were made of unicorns, rainbows, and cotton candy.)
As seen on Nathan Bransford's blog, who stole it from Adrienne Kress's blog, but, apparently, it originally comes from Jackson Pearce.
Ah, the wonderful world of links! It's six degrees of separation on acid. And hours and hours of time INSTANTLY GONE.
You see, my sister recently introduced me to the world of Google Reader (you can see part of the results at my nifty Shared Items widget to the right). Which is nice. Unless you feed it after midnight and then let it jump into an Olympic-sized pool.
I have come across a couple of writers' and agents' blogs through random chance or friends' blogs, but my lovely friend Google Reader has been so kind as to suggest MORE. The first day I started clicking around, my eyeballs slowly became suctioned to the screen - only to be pried away by the lure of Swiss chocolate and ice-cream.
Now, really, I can't really be faulted for this. I'm learning about The Business. What do agents like? What do they absolutely despise? Should I send blueberry or orange-cranberry muffins with my query?
The main thing I've been reading up on is, in fact, The Query. See, before, I had a vague idea of what this was. I knew I needed one. But it scared me a little. So I put it off... indefinitely. (Not that this was going to be a problem, since before I get to the point of querying I need to have a finished, polished, ready-to-submit novel... and the Edit Faeries have been seriously slacking on the job.) After all my late-night reading, however, I'm all pumped to write queries for my novels.
(BTW - my favorite agent blog right now is Pub Rants - which is not about drunken Irishmen. If you scroll down, you'll see her Labels, or you can keep scrolling down... way down... until you get to the last two sections, that give you examples of queries and her workshops on queries.)
I'm a Pantser. I try to outline, but it just doesn't work for me. My characters are way too rebellious (and they have better ideas, most of the time). So, no outlines, no plotting, no premeditation - just writing. Which works great, until you need to edit the whole thing into a coherent novel.
Writing queries and synopses for my novels should help me organize what I want my novel to be, what the key elements are, what needs to stay, what needs to (*sniff*) go, what needs to be highlighted, etc.
The plan right now: finish the editing/re-translating job (which might be a little challenging, considering Brainiac LEFT THE ORIGINAL TEXT ON THE PLANE this morning...), finish and submit my dissertation, then focus exclusively on Life Choices (my very first NaNo. Ah, memories...) I had already gone through about half the novel with first revisions, but that was so long ago I'll just have to start all over. Which is good, because I have all this New Knowledge now.