I’m currently querying a novel, the second one I started a year ago. While my beta readers gave me good feedback on the book, the query has not fared as well and perhaps I need to rewrite it. I can’t possibly understate how much I loathe writing queries. It’s not something I’ve mastered by a long stretch. Pulling out the most interesting but plot moving bits from an 86k word novel is like being asked to summarize your life thus far in a mere 250 words. What do you talk about? What interests you or what others would find interesting? Do you give examples of what made you the way you are today or psychoanalyze yourself and save space? Then the biggest question of all, would anybody even give a damn other than your loved ones and maybe a few close friends?
So while I toil on revisions to my query for the PURE, I started to think ahead to My Fair Vampire, whose plot is still embryonic, malleable, primed for many possibilities. I started writing a query for it thinking, “what’s the most interesting stuff I can put this character through?” Some of it was, of course, based on the characters who have already been introduced within a rudimentary framework. But the conflicts are still primordial.
Is it cheating to write a novel based upon an interesting query? Is that selling out to commercialism? I am not so in love with my initial bursts of creativity to believe them infallible. Far from it. But the odds are much better if you point your characters to where you see a fairly large crowd milling around versus striking out on your own and hoping that the crowd comes to you.