You'd think the most difficult part of the writing process would be writing that book. I think you're wrong.
Okay, it's pretty challenging, successfully stringing together 90,000 words in a coherent fashion. But I think that's become the easy part, for me.
No, I'm not being snooty. I'm just saying that it's 'easier' to formulate a story and throw it out on paper. I'm not including the editing process. That's when things get a little tricky.
That's when you have to worry about word count standards. And pacing. And that blasted 'conflict' need that looms over your head, day in and day out. But once you finish editing, get your manuscript polished, get things ready to find a home for your work, things fall into place, right?
Because then the real hell begins. Suddenly, you have to write the dreaded QUERY LETTER. A short synopsis of your story that sums up the plot, and makes the agent and publishers come begging at your door for more.
Sure, you can do that in 250 words or less. After about seventy-two tries.
And, like three months of stressing out over how to summarize it all.
But, eventually, you find a query letter that seems to work. Probably after ten violent agent rejections that tell you your query sucks and you should never, ever quit your day job. Never fear, though, eventually the winning query takes shape, and somebody finally says, "Yes!" to your work.
Woohoo! Game over!
Ha ha. Just kidding.
It's only the beginning. Because now the query letter is the least of your fears. Now you have to come up with things like a witty author bio. And back cover copy. And, if you're truly cursed, a TAG LINE.
That's right, ladies and germs. Sometimes you don't have to just sum up your story in about 250 words. Sometimes you have to do it in one sentence.
These are the things that make my brain hurt. Okay, I don't have to worry about the tag line, should the need arise. I already stumbled upon that some time ago. I cling to my beautiful little tagline like a drowning man clings to a life preserver.
Cover copy, though, makes me lose sleep at night. Because I am a verbose writer. I am not a condenser. I like to expand on my themes, not minimize them.
So this is my mind-set as the New Year dawns. I must buckle down and come up with an enticing blurb about my story. Also, my current author bio is incredibly stale, so I must come up with a new variation that doesn't include realistic statements like, "When working, she often finds herself accidentally jamming a thumb in a rotten tomato., and then gagging profusely as she tries to get the goo off."
My life. It isn't thrilling.
Also, I'm trying to figure out what my official image of the cover might be. I find it surprisingly difficult to narrow down something to represent the whole story. I tend to shun couples on covers, mostly because I think it's more fun to let readers formulate their own image of the main characters. So I have a few ideas floating around in my head. And the ever-vigilant Lulu keeps coming up with awesome pictures that would suit.