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Dramatic Monologue


Fortunately or Unfortunately, I am a query trench veteran. To the point where I see someone pontificating about how it’s their second or third time querying and getting all bent out of shape and I laugh. (But I sympathize inside.)

In any case, back a while ago when I sent out my first ever query letter in 2007, I got rejected and didn’t send out another one for almost 10 months. True story. It was just the one! Times have changed. I used to cry over every single rejection. I’ve even been known to throw a complete hissy fit and vow to never send anything out ever again. (That’s it — I’m QUITTING! For real this time…) But now, as a veteran, I am going to twirl out of some tips on how to not lose your mojo when the Query God comes and tramps on your sweet little round face.

Be pessimistic from the start. Yeah, yeah, blah, blah, I know. But think about it. If you stop expecting each story to be “the one” then you will already be making plans for the next time when you’re sending THIS round out. Truth. There is no reason to fall apart when you’re expecting to have to do it all over again anyway. Pessimists are not negative — they just see room for improvement.

The stages of grief, my friend.

Denial: Tell yourself that they probably didn’t even read it because they were in a bad mood that day.

Anger: Be certain that they did read it and that the universe is against you because WHY DOES EVERYONE HATE YOU?

Bargaining: Sell your firstborn to the universe in exchange for a book deal and then secretly vow to never have children.

Depression: Vow never to write again and look online for jobs that have nothing to do with anything you’re passionate about while you eat your way through a box of Frosted Flakes.

Acceptance: Give up and accept the fact that for whatever reason, most of the agents did read your letter and sample pages and opted to pass on you anyway while simultaneously not finding you good enough to offer an explanation because that is only for super special people, and YOU are not special, so you might as well move on with your new projects.

Throw yourself into said new projects and become convinced that one of them is “the one.” They will give you energy and revitalize your sad, deflated writing soul into something plump and shiny again.

Repeat from Number One.

^_^ Yep, follow these steps, and I can personally guarantee you will make through the toughest winters of rejection and back to happy, hopeful Springtime-Land again.



  • Karla

    gosh, such horrible advice with No. 1.
    Haha. But I agree with you. It’s a lot if you come into it thinking it’s THE project. Definitely want to put your energy and all your love into it, but that’s how you want to be with all your projects 🙂

  • Tonja Drecker

    Perfect! I love the ‘knowing all will say ‘no’ from the start tip’ because that is the truth. All those querying advice blogs/websites never say it (guess it’s too negative). But they should. I simply assumed all answers (if I got one) will be ‘no’s, not because of depression but because it;s just a fact. That’s how most queries come back. And it’s silly to think that the agents/publishers aren’t recognizing talent because they do, and truth is, we all need improvement. It seems to take courage to admit that though.
    So, does this mean you’ll be hitting those trenches again soon? 😉 Good luck if you are!

    • krystal jane

      ^_^ I don’t think it’s negative at all! You’re right, it’s totally just the truth. I’ve never read a success story that said, “Everyone I sent my story to loved it!!” It just doesn’t happen. The more we know, right?

      But I do always like to plan like I’ll have to query again. It keeps me sane. ^_^

  • Jodi

    I love your stages of grief! That had me giggling.

    Number One really resonates with me. I never assume good things are going to happen to me, which I guess makes me sound like a miserable person, but in real life I’m really upbeat. It sounds tragic but if you never assume that “This is going to be my lucky break,” then you never feel crushed when it’s not. Living by this philosophy, I’ve had a lot of really wonderful things happen in my life, and all of them were even more appreciated because I had convinced myself they wouldn’t happen.

    Moral of the story: Pessimists can be happy people too.

    Great querying coping advice! =)

    • krystal jane

      Oh my gosh, right?! Being pessimistic doesn’t always have to be negative. ^_^ I totally believe you’re upbeat! It may sound tragic, but it’s really a good thing! SO glad I’m not the only one like this. ^_^

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