Thursday, September 18, 2008

Actually Starting the Writing Process

So, I've got a pretty good idea for an article, and I've written up the query letter. I have two textbooks on query letter writing, took careful notes through last week's class on the subject, and I have an experienced friend in Manhattan who has also offered me personal advice. I think my loins are about as girded for battle as they possibly can be... short of actual experience.

(Picture: the writer in the morning.)

I brought my query letter in to class last night and was very encouraged with its condition. The instructor only had a couple points, which included dividing one paragraph into two and the suggestion that perhaps claiming "1,000 words in one week" would give an editor pause: has the article already been written? Has it been submitted anywhere else? See, I want to submit this to Wired and with articles 1,000 words and less, they purchase all rights; more than that and they only purchase North American serial rights. This article could easily go over that limit, with what I have to talk about, but I looked at another article in the same section and it was pretty tiny, so maybe the editor's going to negotiate it down in size. I didn't think 1,000 words in one week was especially boastful but I have absolutely no idea how this system functions. Maybe that is audacious.

Anyway. The letter is tight and, by all external indicators, is ready to go. So I'm about to submit it. Just going to send it along and wait to hear back. Oh yeah, Wired's Web site said that the editor-in-chief is Evan Hansen but the latest print issue said it was Chris Anderson... oh, wait. Evan is the editor of the online site, Chris is editor for the hardcopy. Huh, wonder who I address this to, then? I guess I should call.

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