I’ve said before that writing the query letter, or at least the blurb for the query, should be the first step you take when writing the book. The hardest part of writing the query is that sometimes you don’t really have enough of a hook, or enough of a book, to write about. So if you start with your query, often you’ll define your book before you start writing it (which will save you a TON of time).
Making It Up
The other day I was working on my pitch to editors and I started writing the query. This was taking days. I was struggling and struggling until I realized what the book really needed or really needed to be and I just wrote that. I told my team that I was, “just making shit up.” And I kind of was, because my pitch didn’t exactly match the story the author had written. What it did though was give me exactly what I needed as an editor to go back to the author and make sure it was the story that it needed to be.
Now I didn’t make any huge changes to the story, and I didn’t ask the author to rewrite. What I did though was I found what the story was missing to give it that extra oomph. From now on, when doing edits, I think I’m going to start writing my pitch. It was a huge help.