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Does anyone else write the query letter first?

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Every time I have an idea for a book, I sit down and write a query letter for it. I have four query letters now and 2 WIP but no completed MS so maybe I need to stop thinking of new ideas. ;) I just wondered if anyone else does this. I think it's useful because it helps me in plotting, identifying conflict, etc. Just wondered if anyone else did this...
#1 - July 30, 2015, 02:58 PM
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Sometimes, or at least very early on in the WIP's writing process. Like you, I find it helps to get to the heart of the story.
#2 - July 30, 2015, 03:12 PM
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I think that's a smart way to go about it. If I have trouble writing a snappy synopsis, I know there must be an issue with my story.

I don't do the letter first, but I DO do an outline and I figure out the ending before I start. Though sometimes the details can change along the way.
#3 - July 30, 2015, 04:00 PM
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I have heard a number of people say they do this. I think it's fine to do it at whatever point you find it helpful.
#4 - July 30, 2015, 04:46 PM
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I've never done this, but it sounds like a great idea! It forces you to clarify what you want to do in the manuscript.
#5 - July 30, 2015, 07:49 PM
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I think that's a smart way to go about it. If I have trouble writing a snappy synopsis, I know there must be an issue with my story.

I don't do the letter first, but I DO do an outline and I figure out the ending before I start. Though sometimes the details can change along the way.

 :exactly Me too! I always know my ending before I even start my first draft. And I write my query first as well. I like to know where I am headed, even if the path to get there changes.
#6 - July 30, 2015, 07:50 PM
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Once I realized--after my mss were done--that a good query letter always answers the questions What does my mc want more than anything else? What stands in her way of getting what she wants? What is at stake if she doesn't get what she wants? And then realizing, Great, I can't answer those questions.  :sadcry  And then having to totally rewrite the ms to answer those questions...Yeah, I will always--ALWAYS--start a new project with a query. That way I won't loose focus while writing my mc's story.
#7 - July 31, 2015, 05:08 AM

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I do this too! I find it easier to write the query after I'm only a few chapters in. For me, I know where I'm headed and have the big idea, but I can write the query without getting bogged down in details. If I wait till I finish, I include WAY too much information.

Whatever works for you is the right way! And I wouldn't worry - keep writing them. Then when you aren't sure what you want to write one day, you have all those options to choose from (and you'll be thrilled you're done with that part. lol)

:)
#8 - August 02, 2015, 10:53 AM
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I've been doing this for the projects I've been thinking through in the last few years (though they're all backburnered for a bit).

I started doing it that way because I had to rewrite Blood & Sand a few times from the ground up - between each version I'd draft a query for it, and I always found myself thinking "Man, this query would be way more compelling if it could have a line like (fill in the blank). That blank was always a much clearer conflict or higher stakes. So the next version of the novel would actually sharpen the parts that felt weak in the query, until version #3 could finally be distilled into what felt like a pretty tight, compelling query.

So now I do all that work first so I know where to focus a bit as I'm outlining and drafting.  :crazy
#9 - August 03, 2015, 07:08 PM
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I started doing it that way because I had to rewrite Blood & Sand a few times from the ground up - between each version I'd draft a query for it, and I always found myself thinking "Man, this query would be way more compelling if it could have a line like (fill in the blank). That blank was always a much clearer conflict or higher stakes. So the next version of the novel would actually sharpen the parts that felt weak in the query, until version #3 could finally be distilled into what felt like a pretty tight, compelling query.

So now I do all that work first so I know where to focus a bit as I'm outlining and drafting.  :crazy

Exactly!
#10 - August 04, 2015, 04:00 AM

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I've never done it either, but it sounds like a fun way of clarifying ideas.
#11 - August 14, 2015, 05:03 AM

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I just started this, it really helps me organize and set up the story.  It also forces me to have to figure out the "punch" of the story, what's really going to make it pop for an editor!  Glad to hear others also do this!
#12 - August 14, 2015, 05:16 AM
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