As I began researching my first attempt at a query letter for my newly finished book about teenagers, dragons, and faeries called Blood of the Dragon, I was shocked not at the estimated length (400 words), but the number of hours agents and other writers said it takes to craft an excellent query letter.
Twenty hours. Wow.
I spent about four hours on my rough rough draft trying to get the worm on the opening hook to dangle just right and wracking my brain on how to summarize the plot without explaining. I ended up taking Peter Jackson’s approach to Lord of the Rings: capture the essence of the tale and don’t worry if it doesn’t match the original perfectly.
I sat on it for a week, knowing the ideas are good, but the writing not smooth. My three primary editors have since all taken a look. I don’t know how much time they added, but I’ve spent another hour or so adding in their edits, fine tuning my letter.
It’s a rough draft now, ready to be exposed to my writer’s group. Hopefully, in another week or so, it’ll be ready to send it out and start building my collection of rejection letters. LOL!
The past week has been…interesting.
Last Thursday, I finished my book. Yeah! However, my wife told me the last two chapters were basically unreadable. Ugh! Sometimes I hate her brutal honesty, but she was right.
Tuesday morning I had my annual physical. As embarrassing as it is to feel the doctor squeeze my balls and poke my butt, the humiliation only lasts for a few seconds and he’s awfully good at minimizing it. I came out with flying colors…or so I thought.
Wednesday morning as I made the final fixes to the last two chapters, I got a call from the doctor’s office. The labwork on my blood test came back “abnormal.” My mind immediately jumped to Young Frankenstein and Marty Feldman. “Abby normal?” I asked if I could wait until my followup appointment in January. No, they want me within a week. Ugh.
That afternoon, with us both working from home, I read the last two chapters to my wife during lunch. Thumbs up. Yeah! I can finally let my collaborators read the end of the book, nearly a week after I’d texted them that I’d finished.
Thursday morning, I find out my initial blood test indicated my platelet count was at 33% of the low end of healthy. Not good, especially considering my dad passed from non-Hodgkins lymphoma a few years ago. Another blood test, and doc said a third one after that before I need to worry. This is just precautionary right now. I hate this waiting.
Thursday night, I talk with one collaborator (Mom!) and another one sends me an email. Thumbs up for the ending! Whew! The rewrite worked!
Now it’s Friday morning and the leading edge of this storm is hitting Seattle. The wind and rain remind me of videos from Florida as Hurricane Matthew neared. Should be an interesting weekend…
Just read this quote by Vin Scully, baseball’s greatest play-by-play announcer ever, as he retired after 67(!) years as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ broadcaster:
“Don’t be sad that it’s over. Smile because it happened.”