The only thundercloud that masks the sunshine and light of writing a novel is the bit when you actually begin to make marks on the page. The conclusion may therefore be drawn that the sunshine and light part is the thinking about writing a novel - the research and sketching of a tetchy skeleton idea. The rest of it sends your stomach into plunging knots, your hopes on a roller-coaster ride, and your clutching, grasping fingers to the nearest biscuit barrel, or coffee-jar. Or alcoholic beverage.
Yes, I’m writing a query letter. (Again, she whispers. The other one didn’t count.)
Now, my problem is this: I had a query letter. The two paragraphs in it that described my novel worked really well. They won a prize. People liked it. Everything in query letter world was massively happy. Apart from...
... the novel rewrite has meant my paragraphs are redundant. They are now ex-paragraphs. Oh, they work at a push, and I’m sure if agent folk read them and thought hm! (in a happy hm! sort of way) that they would then go on to read the synopsis and chapters and probably think even more happy hm! type thoughts. But they might not. They might instead think 'why doesn’t that synopsis quite match the query letter?' Most terrifyingly they might think 'do I want to work with an author that doesn’t spot her query and novel don’t quite match?' My inner editor is cringing as it knows I should rewrite the golden paragraphs to make them fit. But I don’t wanna! I just don’t. I’d rather lick the road. (In fact, we have been through this horror list before.)
Even worse than rewriting those two paragraphs is re-doing the paragraph writing about me. Me on me – now you’d think, surely, that I could do that one, and be convincing about it. If anyone knows me, it’d be...well... me. But because query letters are so butt-achingly important my fingers seem to jam up on the keyboard. Remember the glorious mess you could get into with typewriters when you banged all the keys at once and everything jammed? Yes, exactly that. I feel like I am constantly reaching for mental Tippex (and the delete button).
The annoying thing is I know I can do this. I know that agents will like to work with me, if we ever get that far. But until I can un-jam my fingers it’s just not going to happen. I did hear a rumour that cupcakes do wonders for unjamming, so am off to find a few at lunch-time to eat after dinner and then we’ll see what happens. But since the next chance I’ll have to think about query letters, novel, and my life in general is a whole eight hours away (yay, full-time work, she says weakly) then perhaps a miracle will happen in-between times and it'll work itself out. Or, maybe and more likely, this evening I’ll sit at the computer with my brain lolling in my lap and only have the nodes connected enough to think ‘must find 80s music on YouTube’. Sadly, that is how some evenings roll. It is too early as yet to tell which way this Monday will jump.