Query Hell

You know, honestly, writing query letters is hard. Really hard. You want to capture the reader’s (agent’s) interest immediately, and keep it in your grasp for the rest of that one simple, short page. It doesn’t sound hard. I mean, really, how difficult could it be to keep someone interested for 200 words? As it turns out, pretty dang hard.

I’ve spent most of the week working on my query letter for the 2YN story. And I have the bruises on my forehead to prove it, from banging my head on my desk in frustration. I thought I had a decent query letter. Then I started working on Lesson 11 of HTTS, which just so happens to focus on query letters. (Perfect timing, yes?) And I promptly started second-guessing myself. Holly Lisle’s example starts off with THE SENTENCE as the first paragraph. The second paragraph has about two sentences on story, then delves into theme. That’s sort of where I ran into trouble. I mean, I hadn’t consciously thought about theme for this story, except WAY back in the beginning stages, roughly 2 ½ years ago. So, revisiting that was a bit of a challenge to me. As was cutting down the story details to a bare minimum. Most of the sample queries I’ve seen lately have that one initial hook paragraph, then another paragraph focusing on story. Not two sentences focusing on story. So yeah, little bit of trouble there.

And then there’s the bio paragraph. I don’t actually have a bio or credits, and I’ve seen conflicting opinions on how to play that out. So far, I’m going with a simple statement of the story’s stats and the fact that it’s my first novel (It’s not, actually, but the first one I’m subbing.), for lack of anything else. I’m planning to post it on Forward Motion for feedback, but if anyone has any suggestions for the bio information, it would be greatly appreciated.

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