As The Brotherhood nears a final polishing, I’ve been preparing a query letter. Sure, I’ve taken the long-shot attempts at submitting to select publishers w/o an agent, but I doubt publication will happen that way. Hence the query letter.
As I’ve worked through getting that letter finished I’ve identified a couple of issues I’ve had in my mind that didn’t - quite - make it into the story line. Things like, what’s the value of Grambic Tiles to The Brotherhood? Why are they working so hard to get that business? It’s never been overtly stated.
In creating the query letter for agents to read, I’ve had to think more clearly about motivations. In my opinion, those motivations need to be addressed in the story.
So, back to the editing process for The Brotherhood. I’ve had several people critique the story. They’ve done wonderful things for me and that project. They’ve been a great help, and I thank them again here. There’s too many to name individually, and I don’t want to risk missing anyone by trying.
My advice to those working toward publication is this: before counting your project as carved in drying concrete, write your query letter. You might find issues which need to be fixed.
In my particular case, I’ve had so many people look it over already that I’d hesitate to ask for them to look again. After investing a month (or more) of their “free” time, it’s not a request I can comfortably make.
I’ll have to take the risk of my edits not destroying the existing storyline, that they won’t include horrible spelling or grammar errors, or some other factor the agent will look at and think, “What is this idiot trying to write?”
As I’ve discussed before, I don’t believe those kinds of errors will stop someone from taking on a project. If the story idea is unique and developed enough, I think a publisher or agent will take the time to polish it into something really great.
The Final Spell, I know, was enhanced greatly by a professional editor before it hit print.
If The Brotherhood gets professional help, I’m sure it will be greatly improved as well.