Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Query Letter Take Two

See, ya never know what you're gonna get when you post to your blog. Wait, strike that. I knew John would come through with comments 'cuz he always does. And Joe will tell me where I've gone wrong when I see him.

But what you don't know is that two of my critique partners read yesterday's blog entry and posted comments to our critique group board. They were very helpful as well.

Mercy pointed out that there's something missing. Namely, how the hero and heroine's problems weave together. Well, rest assured they do, but I thought that part was too cumbersome for the query letter. Now I'm convinced it's critical. And while explaining in my post to Mercy how the plot works, I (ding, ding, ding) got it straight in my own mind.

See, Amy's identity thief is the son of Nick's prospective boss. There's the intersection. In the end, if Amy gets what she wants (exposing the thief and reclaiming her life), then Nick loses what he wants (reclaiming his career). And vice versa--if Nick wins, Amy loses.

That's the part of the conflict that's missing in the query letter.

Next problem: Vicki claims the query's way too long. 'Course, Vicki's a MASTER at drilling down to the bare facts when all I wanna do is drone on and on and on, but still...I dunno. The agent I sent the query to offers a sample on her website and it wasn't the lean, mean, query machine you hear about. I've seen similar examples on other websites.

Still...it's true we writers keep getting hit over the head with statistics like: you have about three seconds to grab an agent's attention in an e-query...so, it IS best to be as brief and succinct as possible.


I guess it's called practice.

And perserverance. I'll just keep at it 'til I get it right.

Some day!

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