Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Monday, November 10, 2008

On writing query letters . . .

Each day that I write, I've been editing and revising my historical novel, Standing Stones. Two resources have been very helpful -- the generosity and insights of writers participating in the Internet Writing Workshop and Elizabeth Lyon's Manuscript Makeover. Today, the Willamette Writer's newsletter highlighted a You-Tube presentation by Elizabeth Lyon, my editing heroine, speaking on query letters (just 8 minutes long).

I've heard other writers say that their characters come alive, hold conversations, and otherwise pester the writer to tell "their" story. I always thought this was silly, but in this second year of writing, my characters have begun to infiltrate my dreams. I awake with whole scenes that need to be integrated here or there or new insights into my characters that really do tell me what's next or explain what happened. Some days are slow. I feel inept as a writer. But then, a bit of research opens up new understanding or confirms what I thought I knew. And so I persevere. Perhaps one day I will actually finish this book and be at the stage to write that query letter. For now, I just write.