The Frustrating World of Queries

Is there anything more anxiety inducing than pitching your novel?

You write your summary (which you are most likely not talented at doing, since you are *great* at writing books and the pitch is a completely different technique), you give yourself a biography and you tap out an email. Pause here while you give yourself a pep-talk, re-read the query to check for spelling errors (and you will inevitably miss one, regardless), followed by a miniature heart attack after you press send.

If you think that's the hard part, you sweet, naïve thing...

Next the anxiety builds. You can't look at your email without a panic attack while the emails load. You wait months and check your email 35 times a day, reproducing the effect to the point where now you're pretty sure that you have high blood pressure from the mix of fear and excitement, and the stress is making you physically sick.

This novel is the love of your life, your heart, your project that you've spent months researching and pouring yourself into, and it can be so easily swept under the rug by a poor sentence. Or five. But you keep doing it. Over and over again, because if you don't keep chasing this dream, no one else is going to do for you and you are just dust in the wind (or some other more suitable cliché).

Okay. Fine. No one likes reading in second person. I'll switch.

I wrote a quick one for a Twitter Pitch trend. Less than 140 words isn't exactly my forte, but I'm getting better with practice and sheer resolve. What I wrote:

"A young girl who talks to animals, an orphan, and an astrologist cat must fulfill their destiny in an epic war."

I was less than enthusiastic about it, but I gave it a shot. Then after about three hours of incessant Twitter checking, I deleted it. I wasn't proud of it. I don't think that it shows the true nature of the novel, as the short pitches rarely do.

For me, the trouble arises because the query is a different technique. It's marketing; not story-telling.
Additionally, I'm finding with RTS that there are two very important plots that are happening simultaneously. When those two plots finally converge about a hundred pages in, the rest of the story can build, but they are each their own story.

So which plot do I tell? The girl who learns she can speak to animals? Or the faeries that are slowly being driven to extinction? The backbone of the book is the girl. She is the protagonist of the series. However, the faeries are the main plot of this novel.

So now what? If you don't have a great query, does that imply that you do not have a great novel?
No. Not in the slightest. It does mean that there is plenty more work to be done.

Have any of you had similar experiences? I'd love to hear your version!

I'd love to hear suggestions from the successful query-ers as well! How did you overcome the obstacle?

All my love,