Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Two steps forward, one step back

At least it's better than "two steps forward, three steps back."

It's occurred to me that writing a query is not unlike kick-stepping up a steep and somewhat loose ramp of snow (which I spent much of last week doing): You plant your foot hard, hoping to pack down the snow for more traction, then lean up and onto it. If you're lucky the snow holds, if not ... it slides and you end up either falling over or crossing your leg behind your other as you half-collapse into a squashed X-shape.

Either way it's a struggle, and the trick is to step up MORE than you slide down. And so as I grind through the caffeine-fueled early morning conversations with myself I call "figuring out the query," it often seems like what I'm doing is trying new things and eliminating options that don't work.

So far I have found many things that do not work.

The scary moments come when the whole slope threatens to slide away and send you snow-gusting and pinwheeling downhill. Moments like the one where I wondered if the reason I was having so much trouble describing the book in a compelling way is that the book isn't that compelling.

Uh-oh! Negativity alert! Stand up, stretch, swing the arms, sip some coffee, and focus. Put away thoughts of turd-polishing and remember what I first loved about this story in the first place.




Two steps forward, one step back.

1 comment:

Babs said...

Three steps forward and only one step backward. I think you need to add some carbs to that caffeine in order to add some more positive thoughts to your query. Repeat: "The book is awesome. The book is awesome. The book is awesome".