I didn't realize this would be harder than writing the novel itself.
It's soooo harrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrd
Granted, Learn to Howl still needs some edits. One of the characters is going to have a name change (because it's far better suited for my CampNaNoWriMo novel), but Find and Replace is a beautiful thing. There's one conversation that needs to happen, and one that needs to get slightly more complicated. Other things need slight adjustments, more explanation. Etc.
Writing a query letter feels so very stilted to me. I'm so wrapped up with trying to impress and trying not to be a doofus that I feel like everything comes off wooden. It's the same when I've written a cover letter to apply for a job.
Dear So and So
I am awesome. I wrote this book. I also hope you think it is awesome. You totally want to read it now, right? Based on this? I really hope so.
See? (You'll be relieved to know that none of my "best" query drafts actually include kisses. Not even shark kisses. But, I'm trying. I'm reading Query Shark, and Slushpile Hell (reading these two fill me with hope, by the by), and the query letter section of Absolute Write. I'm building a list of agents I think sound cool and fun, who are interested in Urban Fantasy (and other things that I write, like Steampunk, as a hopeful bonus).
I did manage put a query letter for Learn to Howl on the Query Letter Hell section of Absolute Write, and am happy to say that I'm learning from it. I kept my defensiveness away because really, I knew it was a bad query. Not laughably Slushpile Hell bad, certainly. But boringly bad. So I've got some things to think about, and have made an attempt at changing it. I've put off writing the synopsis for the time being, if you can imagine such a thing.
In addition to the query letter, an agent typically wants something else. X amount of pages. Perhaps a synopsis. Perhaps a query letter, bio, short synopsis, and twenty five pages. No attachments, please. Attachments are fine. No snail mail. Some snail mail fine. Query letter only. Snail mail query letter only, with SASE. I've included these things in my document of each agent, in the hopes of being able to tailor the best query package to each of them, when the time comes. I know Learn to Howl needs to go through at least one other draft before strangers can see it, probably more like two. Or three. I should read it out loud to the dog, so that I know it sounds all right.