Tuesday, January 11, 2011

That Dreaded Query

After writing and editing and tweaking some more, it is now time for me to tackle that dreaded query.  Why dreaded, you ask?  Because it's that one chance you have to WOW the agent of your dreams.  The one chance to say, "Hey!  You really want to read this!"  And you only have one page to do it in. One page to sum up the 40,000 (or more, if you write YA or Adult fiction.)

I've ready many samples at Query Shark, and had a round of critics done on a former query at Writer's Digest's Query Critique.  I read a book over the weekend, and I've read interviews with agents about the subject.  And what have I found?  There are a wide variety of things that make a query work and that make it go straight to the slush pile.  What works for one query may not work for another.

So, what's a writer to do?  Well, I am writing mine out, tweaking it, sharing it with my beta readers, tweaking it again, until it shines and conveys my story to the best of my abilities.

How about you?  Do you dread writing the query or look forward to it introducing you to that perfect agent?
What key have you found for writing your query?


  1. Good post Mary! Actually, I dread writing the query because like you said, it's so difficult to sum up my entire work in one page. But, the flip side is that I love getting ready to put a baby MS out into the world. Actually, I have to fend off the desire to do it much faster than it's ready sometimes LOL:)

  2. Dude, I love writing query letters. I still have to do it, too, for my agent.

    I wrote an ebook called From the Query to the Call. It's available for free download on my website. www.elanajohnson.com.

    Maybe it'll help?

    Either way, good luck!

  3. You and I are in the exact same place!! I wrote my first query letter seven months ago and have revisited it a dozen times. Yesterday, I decided to start from scratch. It's getting closer, but it's still not right.

    Good luck! If you find a secret formula,please share!


  4. Yes, I do dread writing query letters. Getting everything down to one page is a challenge. I usually have fun with the introductory paragraph but always stumble in giving a very brief synopsis.Having that short synopsis mastered before I sit down to write the query might be the way I should approach it next time.

  5. Thanks for all the support! Elana- I downloaded your book and gave it a quick read through. I think it is just the thing I needed to get this right! Thanks for writing it and sharing the link.


Thanks for dropping by. I love reading comments and will respond by e-mail as soon as possible.