So it’s that time again, that time many writers loathe, the time where decisions must be made about playing the agent / publisher game and if so, when to start dancing with the dogs and ponies. Yes, I have started composing my query letter.
Writing the query letter. Meh. Like being in the original cast of Dante’s Inferno.
The short, three paragraph pitch to the unknown gatekeeper. The 200 or so words that completely and accurately summarize your 51,000 word novel.
Having not written one before, I consulted with experts (the Internet) and found, like writing in general, there are many styles of query letter, all of which can work. The trick is finding the right one and using the right words. Kinda like asking a girl out on a date, but I digress. So anyway, I decided to play safe and go with a common format, the “when this happens, that happens” format.” Boring perhaps, but concise and it puts the gist of the story out there.
Thanks to Agent Query for the help. For those looking for an agent, this is a great website. (Common disclaimer applies. I receive nothing for plugging them.)
Here’s the opening paragraph to the query for Hell in High Heels. Let me know what you think. Would you want to read more of the novel? Rewrite the paragraph? Should I scrap the whole thing and take up accounting? I’d be happy with either of the first two options. Crossing fingers, hoping no one votes for the third, though, now that I think about it, accounting pays better. (Or is that the lowest level of Dante’s Inferno?)
“When a young sailor finds herself about to be dishonorably discharged from the service, she unwittingly accepts orders to become the Navy’s newest covert agent, having to face such adversaries as the Iranian military, a North Korean arms merchant, and her parents.”
The query letter. The key to the gate. But what door does it open?
- Querying Agents (katebrauning.wordpress.com)
- Writing a Good Query Letter (donweston.wordpress.com)
- Writer’s Digest (diamondpublicationz.wordpress.com)