4.18.2007

Yea, this works

How To Write A Query in 40 Simple Steps
by C.J. Redwine


1. Pour yourself a small glass of gin & tonic.

2. Sip slowly, savoring the taste, as you carefully list your novel's main characters and conflicts.

3. Struggle to label your work with the appropriate genre.

4. Pour more gin and tonic to boost brain power.

5. Craft a first sentence that both grabs the reader's attention and conveys the essence of your novel.

6. Re-read first sentence.

7. Acknowledge that first sentence is absolute horse-s*** and delete the entire thing.

8. Pour more gin and tonic, minus the tonic.

9. Skip first sentence and dive into character descriptions.

10. Re-read character descriptions.

11. Acknowledge that character descriptions cannot be three paragraphs each and delete all but a few sentences.

12. Drain gin bottle.

13. Toss in a few sentences describing the conflict.

14. Re-read sentences describing conflict.

15. Acknowledge that the conflict sounds rather weak.

16. Toss in a conflict that isn't actually in the novel but could be, if the agent asks for a partial.

17. Wander to the kitchen for more gin.

18. Wonder who the hell put that wall in your way.

19. Return to desk.

20. Re-read query.

21. Drink two swallows of gin straight from the bottle.

22. Decide that "I have a fiction novel that totally kicks Dean Koontz's sorry ass" is an acceptable first sentence.

23. Study the problem of deciding on a genre.

24. Take a few swallows of gin for fortification.

25. Realize you now see two keyboards on your desk instead of one. Choose which one to use.

26. Type madly for thirty seconds before realizing you are simply banging on your desk.

27. Swallow some gin and choose the other keyboard.

28. Decide that literary-paranormal-romantic-suspense-thriller-with-historical-sci-fi-elements is an acceptable genre for your novel.

29. Re-read query.

30. Insert adverbs generously and prolifically throughout to spice up the prose.

31. Print.

32. Spend five minutes cursing the foul beast of a computer for refusing such a simple request.

33. Turn printer on.

34. Print.

35. Sign name.

36. Realize you've misspelled your name.

37. Curse the gin.

38. Apologize to the gin.

39. Re-print, re-sign, seal in an envelope.

40. Send query.

17 comments:

Elektra said...

Anybody else get the feeling Douglas Adams is sending E-mail from beyond the grave?

Katie said...

In LA we drink only coconut rum.

ME said...

I've been to query hell this week, so I really appreciate this info. I had been using a similar method and now I see the error of my ways. I've been using scotch!! I will switch to the potent potable you suggest. I'll bet that does the trick.
Thanks!!!

McKoala said...

Or hie thee off to the evil spawn of the crapometer where Elektra is currently offering a new service 'You write the query!' Send in your synopsis and everyone else has a go at writing your hook! Kind of fun. Scroll down about three entries for the inaugural attempts.

Jennifer McK said...

The only reason that I don't think you've bugged my house is because you said gin instead of whiskey.
And I think my first sentence was "I've written a romance that totally kicks Nora Robert's ass."

Other than that.....freaky.

Toddie said...

Who's been videoing me? It needs to stop. Now.

A Naughty Miss said...

Thank you. I needed that.

Anonymous said...

I'm totally guilty of #16.

Sonya said...

Finally! The secret to writing a successful query letter! I can die happy now. Right after I finish off this bottle...

(Anything that can make me laugh 'til it hurts at six in the morning is da bomb. Funny thing is, I actually did that printer bit a few days ago - I'd unplugged the USB cable to use my thumb drive and forgotten to hook it back up, so I sent the damned document four times before I figured it out. HA!)

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Hey . . . that's not an appropriate genre? Well . . . #$$%^. Back to the keyboard(s).

C.J. Redwine said...

Oh I think it's the perfect genre! Covers all your bases, lets the agent know you've done your homework, you're up on EVERYTHING, and she can just narrow the field once she sells your glorious masterpiece!

Now, where did I put that bottle of gin?....

Majick the Cat said...

I love it. Got some good tips for the next Nanowrimo.

Laura Ware said...

Oh, I have some friends who MUST see this - it is definitely a laugh riot!!

Jack said...

Realize you've forgotten to enclose a SASE. Get a new bottle of gin, put return postage and address on it, wrap with a another copy of your query and a note to return a request for a partial inside emptied bottle.

BenPanced said...

37. Curse the gin.

38. Apologize to the gin.


I mean, really. What did the gin ever do to you to deserve such treatment? *tsk*

John B said...

Will this still work if I substitute a can of Red Bull for each swig of Gin?

Carolyn said...

ROTFL!!!