Yesterday I did it, months before I thought I would: I actually wrote a query letter pitch for Hubris.
Charlie just wanted to reconnect with his adopted sister, Adriana. Adriana just wanted to avenge her birth mother by killing the six Gods and ending their tyrannical reign over the universe. But then things got complicated. Charlie has met the Gods, and though they're rattled and threatened, they don't seem much like tyrants. What's more, they claim that if Adriana succeeds in killing all of them, she'll wipe out the universe in the process. Adriana thinks they're bluffing; the godishes, impish immortal beings that are not quite gods but not quite anything else, are in her corner. But even Adriana is starting to suspect that she's being manipulated. As Charlie races from New York to the Tian Shan mountains to the bowels of the earth to stop her, Adriana must face the anger that drives her, and decide whether she's willing to risk everything-literally-to finish what she's started.
And already I’m finding faults in it. This, folks, is my least favorite kind of writing. I’d rather churn out a dissertation on minor property disputes in 1890s Oklahoma than try to distill a 90,000 word story into a couple of paragraphs. Or less. While maintaining a strong sense of the characters, setting, tone, and emotional stakes. And making it sound irresistible. Which, considering my rejections outnumber my partial requests by about 30 to 1, I’m really not very good at.
But an author’s gotta what an author’s gotta do. Writing a good query is a skill every writer needs, and the only way to get better is with lots of painful, demoralizing practice. I’m glad I got a head start on this one, at least.