Now I have done this before. Tried writing a query. Though I have yet to send one out for an agent. I think it's because I am slightly afraid of MASS rejection. Though I know I will endure the rejection just like every other author has, I think it's also because I just don't feel like my novel is complete. It's had to ask someone to back something I am still a little unsure of myself.
Yesterday I found five separate Literary Agent companies I want to contact. Now to find a way to get their attention through the awesomeness of my super compact totally intriguing Query!
Here is my plan...first I google Query....
No kidding this site actually has a lot of helpful information, and I will paraphrase a few bits that I think will help you as much as they helped me:
A query letter has three concise paragraphs: the hook, the mini-synopsis, and your writer’s biography. Don’t stray from this format. You won’t catch an agent’s attention by inventing a creative new query format.
This actually helps a lot. It explains the bare basic truth of Querying. Don't make it new and fresh, make it your own in the formula. The story should be the hook, not an updated version of Query formula.
Paragraph One—The Hook: A hook is a concise, one-sentence tagline for your book. It’s meant to hook your reader’s interest, and wind them in.
The hook is the most important part of the Query, it's the point where you really can shine and yank an agent to attention. It's like you are screaming, "Look at me, I am amazing!!" and the agent actually turns around and says, "Well you have my attention, go on...."
EXAMPLE of a Hook: Bridges of Madison County
When Robert Kincaid drives through the heat and dust of an Iowa summer and turns into Francesca Johnson's farm lane looking for directions, the world-class photographer and the Iowa farm wife are joined in an experience that will haunt them forever.
The "When" Formula: “When such and such event happens, your main character—a descriptive adjective, age, professional occupation—must confront further conflict and triumph in his or her own special way. Sure, it’s a formula, but it’s a formula that works.
Variations on the "when" formula: Three Different Examples:
Following a botched circumcision...
While defending a drug-addicted prostitute accused of murder....
After years of abuse at the hands of her alcoholic mother and step-father...
Paragraph Two—Mini-synopsis: This is where you get to distill your entire 300 page novel into one paragraph.
This part really really sucks, mainly because it was harder than writing the entire novel. How the hell am I supposed to stuff the entirety of my novel into 150 words!? Patience is not my virtue, but this one really tested me. The main thing to stick to though is the absolute basics. The main character has a problem. The main character must face the external problem and internal problem. Main character confronts conflict, and may or may not succeed.
Paragraph Three—Writer’s bio: This should be the easiest part of your query. After all, it’s about you, the writer.
No this wasn't the easiest part. I don't have ANY writing bio background. I never had anything published, never wrote for a magazine or newspaper. I didn't go to school for writing, I just enjoy writing and love building a new world with my words. That's it. But I can't really say that. It's ok though, the less words I write in a bio, the more I can use on the mini-synopsis. WIN!
FIVE DAYS LATER:
I have a Query.....I need to write it. Again. I'll let you know when I have something worth value. Back to the blinky blinky line mocking me on my word doc page. "Blink, blink...write something. Blink...blink...BLINK!" Shut up word doc, I am thinking!
For any further details on Query writing check out:
Random Pug Picture Time!
Here is my little man, The Dude