Writing a novel – the actual writing of the story – is the easiest part for me. But while the words flow out onto the page relatively quickly, they usually need some tweaking and polishing when the whole thing is done. The tweaking may mean developing scenes or conversations more. Or adding scenes, if the story flow contains holes. Or whatever it takes to get the manuscript to a level worthy of submitting to agents and/or publishers. And that step, the querying, is by far the hardest for me. Condensing the gist of 300 pages into a few paragraphs (for the query letter) or 1-2 pages (for the synopsis) is no small feat. That’s why so many agents and editors out there sell the service of helping writers polish their query and synopsis. And just in case you fall into the trap of considering any feedback you receive from them as gospel and the key to success, read my Who’s On First blog post about the potential range of opinions on what’s best. Certainly, feedback is good. Feedback from multiple sources is better. And believing enough in the core of what you’ve written to choose among or combine the inevitable opposing feedback is critical to rise above any feelings of defeat.

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