From C.J. Redwine: 40 Simple Steps to Query Writing

funny pictures of cats with captions

The Revision Duck Mafia have taken Myra hostage, leaving nothing but feathers and a torn picture of BinBons in their wake. As ransom, the Ducks demanded a beautifully revised manuscript constructed of blood, sweat, tears, and unsafe levels of caffeine OR Myra's Edward on a Stick. Her choice.

So, as Myra pours blood, sweat, tears, and unsafe levels of caffeine into her manuscript, I've taken over her blog today to bring you my 40 Simple Steps To Query Writing.


And watch out for Ducks.

1. Pour yourself a small glass of gin & tonic.
2. Sip slowly, savoring the taste, as you carefully list your novel's main characters and conflicts.
3. Struggle to label your work with the appropriate genre.
4. Pour more gin and tonic to boost brain power.
5. Craft a first sentence that both grabs the reader's attention and conveys the essence of your novel.
6. Re-read first sentence.
7. Acknowledge that first sentence is absolute crap and delete the entire thing.
8. Pour more gin and tonic, minus the tonic.
9. Skip first sentence and dive into character descriptions.
10. Re-read character descriptions.
11. Acknowledge that character descriptions cannot be three paragraphs each and delete all but a few sentences.
12. Drain gin bottle.
13. Toss in a few sentences describing the conflict.
14. Re-read sentences describing conflict.
15. Acknowledge that the conflict sounds rather weak.
16. Toss in a conflict that isn't actually in the novel but could be, if the agent asks for a partial.
17. Wander to the kitchen for more gin.
18. Wonder what idiot put that wall in your way.
19. Return to desk.
20. Re-read query.
21. Drink two swallows of gin straight from the bottle.
22. Decide that "I have a fiction novel that totally kicks Dean Koontz's sorry keister" is an acceptable first sentence.
23. Study the problem of deciding on a genre.
24. Take a few swallows of gin for fortification.
25. Realize you now see two keyboards on your desk instead of one. Choose which one to use.
26. Type madly for thirty seconds before realizing you are simply banging on your desk.
27. Swallow some gin and choose the other keyboard.
28. Decide that literary-paranormal-romantic-suspense-thriller-with-historical-sci-fi-elements is an acceptable genre for your novel.
29. Re-read query.
30. Insert adverbs generously and prolifically throughout to spice up the prose.
31. Print.
32. Spend five minutes cursing the foul beast of a computer for refusing such a simple request.
33. Turn printer on.
34. Print.
35. Sign name.
36. Realize you've misspelled your name.
37. Curse the gin.
38. Apologize to the gin.
39. Re-print, re-sign, seal in an envelope.
40. Send query.


  1. -chokes on coffee-
    -makes sister look at number 38-
    -sister tells me I'm weird-
    I am very amused. -grins-

  2. I did this very thing just the other day... only it was scotch, not gin... at least, I think it was scotch... well, I know it STARTED with scotch...

    Thanks for making me smile! :D

    Okay, okay, so I belly-laughed... and everyone looked at me weird... and that made it even better...

  3. "38) Apologize to the gin."

    Glad to see you realized the folly of angering the gin gods.

  4. I popped on over from CJ's blog - You have a great blog here Myra!

    CJ - love it! That's the perfect genre for my ms - how did you know?? :)

  5. Go Myra... Anyone got a duck hunting license? Maybe we can quack up the mafia and free her soon :D

    Love your lists. My new favorite thing.

  6. See, what you just listed there was my ENTIRE writing process. Although, I have switched from gin to wine. Yet...you are tempting me as gin goes excellent in cranberry juice which is excellent for your bladder, so I can feel good about imbibing it while writing. Right?

    Oh, and the thought of you with even just a few sips of gin is enough to put me in hysterics.


Tell us everything: