Saturday, May 22, 2010

Query Worry

On Thursday I went to my League of Utah Writers Chapter meeting. I was very excited to learn all I could about Query letter writing since I absolutely SUCK at them. I get trapped with knowing too much about the story and tend to ramble a bit... like I am doing now.

I was nervous. I had only been to one other meeting and that was in December. I didn't know anyone, so I sat on the back row- dead middle, comfortable enough for me and still an able seat to participate; far enough from the creepy, homeless writer in the front corner and not near the LOST IN THEIR OWN FANTASY crowd in the center. I felt safe in the back, where I feel free enough to do my own thing if it gets boring... much like church.

Not 5 minutes after the meeting started some stragglers filled in the back seats, one sitting one chair away from me. A little later I heard noises in the hallway and leaned my head to look, only to see this guy staring at me - like eye to eye contact and he didn't flinch away, like I do most of the time when someone catches me looking a them. What do you do? I just smiles and whispered a "Hi," and went back to listening. But the rest of the time I felt awkward, like this stranger was eying me. But if you looked over the crowd, pickings were slim on a pretty face, not saying too much about myself, but everyone else in the room. I was one of the youngest, and as far as I could tell, the only blond.

During the course of this presentation, this guy would make comments like the "No-It-All" in the class. I found it rather irritating.

Finally we get to a time in the class to share our query letters within groups. I knew before he did it that this guy was going to skooch next to me and ask, "So, do you have a letter you wanted to share?"

After the presenter was done I knew what I needed to do with my letter, so I said, "You know, I do, but I don't think I want to share it anymore." So I found a few people that did have a letter to share and he followed me to that group.

After hearing some of these queries I noticed that this guy I guess, was someone of "Importance" in my chapter. I guess he had published stuff, but I didn't know who he was. He "Allowed" others to comment before he went into his deep philosophy about the letter style. My job, I felt, was to go back and reassure the writer that their stuff isn't bad, but it needs shape- that I liked the style of writing, but just lost the point of it. I think it is so easy to pick out what others need to do - but you can't see it for yourself. This guy agreed with my every point.

Anyway, when we were all done and everyone was packing up to leave, this guy was still sitting by me. So... BRAVE ME... I turned over to him and said as nice as I could, "Am I supposed to know who you are?"

He introduced himself, but funny thing, I don't remember his name, David something... which is a shame since I would love to look at his stuff - and told me his pen name also... which sadly I can't remember either. He stated after that, "You know, I could still help you with your query?"

"No, I think I got it," and I walked out the door.

So here is the question: "Where should I sit next time? Should I chance it with the homeless weirdo or the Fantasy Pack?" I think I will sit on the left side by the HOPELESS ROMANCE WRITING HOUSEWIVES, don't you think?


Gramma Sue said...

Where ever you sit, make sure you are flanked on either side by a dumpy, middle-aged, grandmother type. That should keep you safe. And I imagine the front row is better than the back if you are trying to avoid late-comers and stragglers.

Winnie said...

I can't believe you picked up a stalker at a Writers' meeting. That is extremely weird. I think I would definitely find other people to sit by next time (or take Kevin) :)