Asad was surprised I didn't post any comments after "Whew" but I've been busy! I've finished the first chapter of the second "Star Sons" book, written a query letter for agents and sent it to a friend who's an editor (and budding novelist who was just asked by an agent to send his entire manuscript in for the agent to read, YAY!) who agreed to look at it; I've been busy answering email, dealing with art business customers, etc.; and I've cast and detailed two resins and have been finishing those and another that are needed to fulfill a trophy order.
I also spent a lot of time today building an armature for the second horse in a pair of rearing horses that will be a bronze. It portrays a moment in playtime between my horse, Jack (shown a few posts below this one), and my hubby's horse, Pepper. They were rearing and pretending to threaten each other, just playing rough (boys will be boys, after all), and at one point, I got a photo of them standing straight up on their back legs, with their front feet on each others' shoulders. They look like they're dancing! I've already sculpted Jack for this piece, and today I got the armature finished for the sculpture of Pepper. My hubby helped me make the armature so I can remove Pepper from being "attached" to Jack so I can work on him separately and get him correct before I put them together again, so that's great!
I have the privilege of judging the Great Darke County Fair's (Greenville OH) art shows Sculpture Division on Aug. 17, and am doing a demo there (date not set yet - I'm "Featured Sculptor" as well as juror, which is very nice!), so I've been getting the sculpture of Jack and Pepper ready to go for that. And it's time I did some artwork anyway. I've been concentrating on writing for months, with very little artwork to show for it. But the novel is coming along well enough to make me want to just sit here and WRITE! And that's cool too. The first chapter of the second book inspired me to design a couple of sculptures that could be tie-ins for it. Time will tell if I actually get them made and if there's a market for them, but I think they would be great fun to do, and if the price is reasonable enough, they should sell well, too -- I hope!
On query letters: I found various articles in books I have as well as on websites other writers recommended to me, but the best info I found (clear, concise and easy to understand) was on AgentQuery. They have a series of articles that are wonderfully educational, but since I'm in query mode right now, I concentrated on that topic.
Queries can be daunting. According to AgentQuery.com, the first paragraph should be the "hook," the one sentence that tells enough about the story to make you want to read it. Think of a blurb on the back cover of a book - that kind of thing. I had a lot of trouble coming up with a hook because I keep seeing my story in its big multi-volume story arc. Coming up with a hook for the first book alone was difficult, but I think I finally managed it.
The second paragraph in the query letter is supposed to be the summary of your book. This is where you write the kind of thing you see on the flaps of a book jacket, a tightly condensed version of what goes on in the story that leaves you wanting to know more about it. For a query letter, you don't want to keep secrets from the agent, according to AgentQuery.com, so you tell the story in full.
The third paragraph is supposed to be your writer's bio, if you have one. Fanfic publication doesn't count (and shouldn't be mentioned), but things where you were paid in copies does. Also, your "day job" doesn't count unless it has an impact on your writing.
My own query letter fell in to more than three paragraphs simply because the story summary required more than one paragraph to be written properly. I know I need to revise it to make it fit the three-paragraph format, but I'm giving myself time away from it so I can see it with fresh eyes the next time I work on it. I haven't heard from my editor friend yet about how it looks to him, but it is a very rough first draft - I expect it to need changes. Getting it written at all was an accomplishment, because I suddently couldn't think of a thing to say about my story that would tell ABOUT it without TELLING the whole thing. I guess I really am a novelist - I can't summarize well, but I can crank out 100,000+ words with little trouble! ;-D And they're usually pretty darned good words, too! Now if only I can get an agent to agree with that assessment. . . .