Scary Query

I have been writing since I was 8 years old.  Really, I guess I’ve been writing longer than that.  Before that age, however, the stories stayed in my head or were simply spoken into the open air of whatever situation tugged them from me.  Generally these were narrations of the wonderful imaginative game I was in: washing dishes was a daily routine that followed a similar plot line with each execution of the chore.  I don’t recall the plot exactly, but there are vague notions of the need to catch a train in time.  Cleaning up toys, collecting eggs, making my bed, going to bed (there were several years in which my bed was not really a bed at all, but an artificially intelligent car that every night drove me through Jurassic Park, keeping me safe by being indestructible).

Chores took me two, three or more times longer than they should have.  My mom would have to remind me again and again to focus; my sister would get fed up with doing all the work while I daydreamed my way in circles around a room.  On the rare occasions I needed to be punished (Didn’t happen often…I was the good child), time-outs were rather ineffective.  I would just make up a story, turn it into a game and be perfectly content wherever I was banished.

At the age of 8, I learned to capture my words and trap them on paper.  I have been chasing them down ever since.  We’ve had our ups and downs, our times of stand-offishness (breaks, cooling off periods, etc.).  I’ve been stumped at times.  Had my characters go on strike.  I’ve been frustrated, angry, concerned.  But never before have I really been nervous about an act of writing.

I am getting ready to submit my book, Alyraekas, to agents, maybe trot it out to a writer’s conference, and the step that had me stymied (of all things) is preparing the query letter.  No matter how much I think about it, I can’t seem to come up with a good way of writing it.  Words abandon me, or come out stilted, or too lengthy.  I try to picture a dust jacket, how the words would play out, but they blend together, blurred, fuzzy and indecipherable.

I spent 5 ½ years writing this book, following my characters, carefully chronicling their lives.  I have laughed with them, learned with them, worried, cried, loved and hated with them.  I suffered long periods of time in which I didn’t visit them at all, and we almost had to get reacquainted.  But nothing in those 5 ½ years has frightened me quite like this looming task.

So, I will gladly accept any words of wisdom, tips, samples, etc. from any of you who have any to offer.  At the very least, I hope you will wish me luck…queries are scary.

 

– S.D. Bullard

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~ by sdbullard on April 9, 2012.

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