Made you look

Attribution: Andy Banham

Attribution: Andy Banham


I didn’t want to.

I can’t blame anybody else. I basically did it to myself by posting that query last night. But I went ahead and posted the thing anyway on AbsoluteWrite, then shut off my computer so I wouldn’t be tempted to check for responses.

Every. Five. Seconds.

My resolve didn’t last too long. I was compelled to look, that’s what I told myself: kk, you poor bastard, you have no spine. You simply can not help yourself–or words to that effect, which are beside the point.

The point is, I looked. And what I saw confirmed what I was secretly dreading.

Before I continue, a word about AbsoluteWrite and the Query Letter Hell forum. You take a chance when you post a query in AW’s QLH forum. Post and the squirrels are going to respond. And if you want them to help you, keep helping you, you’re going to have to respond in kind, and not only that. You’re going to have to take some sort of action; aka, do the work.

Which isn’t bad when you’re just starting out, drafting your initial query, figuring your approach, getting the nuts and bolts down. You do your best, expecting to screw up some, and you do, but that’s okay because you get feedback, sometimes great feedback, so you go back in there, implementing suggestions, and so on, and so on. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

But when you’ve been at the same query for months, when you look at post numbers for your query thread and realize they’re in the triple digits now, when you check your email inbox and see yet another rejection, you start wondering. . .

That’s where I found myself last night. I sat there staring at my EFFIN’ ALBERT query thread. Somebody had read my latest attempt and responded.

Damn it.

I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. I didn’t want to look, didn’t want to SEE the thing that’s been fluttering around in my gut for the last three months; that ugly, irritating niggle that won’t go away, like an itch I can’t quite scratch; a painful mosquito bite on the back of my sweaty knee. . .

I didn’t want to listen to that incessant whispering, my constant companion since I started that EFFIN’ ALBERT query thread back in February: Something’s wrong, kk. You keep fucking with your query, but your query might not be the problem–




13 thoughts on “Made you look

  1. Queries are hard. It’s a guessing game, a crapshoot, and a business letter all rolled into one. One thing that jumped at me was your mention of post count in your query thread. Remember how many of those posts are casual joking around, and then how many more reflect the large number of people who want to contribute specifically to your thread, because a) you’ve helped them, and b) they love the story and want it (and you!) to succeed.


    • Thank you, my dear. Thank you for putting a positive spin on it. And you are correct, of course. The meat and potatoes of that thread are what’s important. Post count is secondary to that.

      Writing a query is something I didn’t know how to do before I found AW. And even with all the support and guidance, it’s hard sometimes. A lot of times. But when it clicks. . .

      That’s what I’m shooting for, Mrs Fringe. As for your points a) and b). . .


  2. You did, indeed. You made me comment too. Twice. 🙂 All luck to you as you wade through the mire of words which vacillate between tools and traps in the query process.


    • Yes, you did, Courtney, and I thank you very much. Btw, I love what you just penned there: “. . .the mire of words which vacillate between tools and traps. . .”

      Anybody ever tell you that you can write?



  3. Skimmed the thread (I had anyway, because I’m a creeper. I mean lurker) but I’m going to answer here. You get A LOT of responses to your query letters, a lot of great responses. Ultimately, you need to make your own decisions. However. I’m not sure trouble with your query means you need to do anything with the MS.

    Just stay strong, buddy! 🙂


    • Thanks, Jen. I will. The alternative is, I turn to mush and sink into the carpet. Probably leave a sticky residue.


      When you refer to the responses I’m getting, you ARE referring to QLH, right? Saying that because my actual queries, the ones I’m sending out, are garnering less than stellar responses from the powers that be, which is why I reopened that thread. But then, you knew that already.

      And yet, even though my queries are less than stellar right now here you are, saying nice stuff to me.

      I appreciate it very much, Jen.


      • Yes, sorry, QLH responses are what I Meant. You mean you can’t just read my mind? Geeze 😉

        Hey, you’re one of my “writing buddies”, I like being able to life up where I can. Besides, I’ll likely be in the same position sooner or later. You reap what you sow 😀 I think your queries are pretty great, really. It’s just a matter of finding the agent(s) whose socks are properly knocked off by them.


        • I’m one of your writing buddies? You posted that, now it’s official, you can’t change it, I hope you know that, ha ha.

          I just have one question, re: knocking the socks off an agent–don’t any of those guys go barefoot? It would make our lives so much easier. . .



          • You are! No takebacks :p

            Yeah, I’ve always been curious about the socks too. I mean, I go barefoot whenever possible, so it seems at least one agent does too. Maybe we need a better euphemism? Or maybe socks make everybody feel all grumpy and reject-y?


    • That’s the key, Anne. That’s the magic bullet I need to find. Ultimately it’s part writing skill, part good luck, and part really good timing that’s going to get me an agent. Or publisher, don’t want to forget those guys.


      You have me covered on the luck front, I think. Thank you, Anne.



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