Cramming Novels into Nutshells

I’ve been trying to hammer out the details of my query letter.

Which is a fairly diplomatic way of saying I’m trying to cram a hundred thousand years of intergalactic history and culture, a fairly complicated plot, and half a dozen characters–all of whom are more exciting than anyone I know in real life into about two-hundred-and-fifty words. And P.S.: Some of them are blue.

And yes, blue was probably relevant a hundred thousand words ago, back when it was still porn.

Okay. Yeah. I’ll probably leave that part out.

A friend of mine (she doesn’t write, but her minor does) does a pretty good impression of the querying writer. Do you want to represent me? No? How ’bout now? Okay… but what if I add dragon/chipmunk hybrids? No? What about–

I’ve been knocking my head against a wall trying to find just the right words to describe that one necessary piece of intergalactic culture for… well, almost as long as I’ve been writing the book to go with it.

And today–maybe it was that extra cup of coffee–I think I finally got it. I’m closer than before, anyway. I have something that kinda makes sense, and kinda fits.

It took a lot of time to coax that minimalist approach out of my verbose little brain.

So, obviously, the most difficult, most irreplaceable bit of writing I’ve done recently is scribbled across a crumpled scrap of paper in the bottom of my purse. **sigh** Time to dig it out and polish it.

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