Oct 28, 2010

The Query Letter

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, October 28, 2010
I've been trying to write a query letter. "Try" being the operative word. How to make my voice and my story shine so a prospective agent wants to read more? It's trickier than I thought it would be. While doing some research on the best way to go about attacking a query, I stumbled upon a sure fire method *grin*...

How To Write A Query in 40 Simple Steps by C.J. Redwine

1. Pour yourself a small glass of gin & tonic.

2. Sip slowly, savoring the taste, as you carefully list your novel's main characters and conflicts.

3. Struggle to label your work with the appropriate genre.

4. Pour more gin and tonic to boost brain power.

5. Craft a first sentence that both grabs the reader's attention and conveys the essence of your novel.

6. Re-read first sentence.

7. Acknowledge that first sentence is absolute horse-s*** and delete the entire thing.

8. Pour more gin and tonic, minus the tonic.

9. Skip first sentence and dive into character descriptions.

10. Re-read character descriptions.

11. Acknowledge that character descriptions cannot be three paragraphs each and delete all but a few sentences.

12. Drain gin bottle.

13. Toss in a few sentences describing the conflict.

14. Re-read sentences describing conflict.

15. Acknowledge that the conflict sounds rather weak.

16. Toss in a conflict that isn't actually in the novel but could be, if the agent asks for a partial.

17. Wander to the kitchen for more gin.

18. Wonder who the hell put that wall in your way.

19. Return to desk.

20. Re-read query.

21. Drink two swallows of gin straight from the bottle.

22. Decide that "I have a fiction novel that totally kicks Nora Robert's sorry ass" is an acceptable first sentence.

23. Study the problem of deciding on a genre.

24. Take a few swallows of gin for fortification.

25. Realize you now see two keyboards on your desk instead of one. Choose which one to use.

26. Type madly for thirty seconds before realizing you are simply banging on your desk.

27. Swallow some gin and choose the other keyboard.

28. Decide that literary-paranormal-romantic-suspense-thriller-with-historical-sci-fi-elements is an acceptable genre for your novel.

29. Re-read query.

30. Insert adverbs generously and prolifically throughout to spice up the prose.

31. Print.

32. Spend five minutes cursing the foul beast of a computer for refusing such a simple request.

33. Turn printer on.

34. Print.

35. Sign name.

36. Realize you've misspelled your name.

37. Curse the gin.

38. Apologize to the gin.

39. Re-print, re-sign, seal in an envelope.

40. Send query.


Shayne on October 28, 2010 at 10:35 PM said...

That made me want to go out and buy a bottle of gin.

Very funny stuff.

Good luck with the letter Ms Clever Pants.


Rachael Johns on October 28, 2010 at 11:14 PM said...

LOL - funny stuff indeed!

Happy Query Letter writing and more importantly - good luck with the sub :)

Anita Joy on October 29, 2010 at 7:09 AM said...

Shayne, this is about the most sensible advice for writing a query... nah, seriously thanks for the luck. Will need it!!

Anita Joy on October 29, 2010 at 7:10 AM said...

Thanks, Rach. Not sure that any query letter writing can be described as happy :) But thanks for the luck - I think I'll need it!

Anonymous said...

I knew I was doing some thing wrong, Anita. No bloody gin!! I thought red wine would do it but I was ovbiously wong, isnt it. Dow ima gunna hav 2 go & ged some gim, I men jin. I men mean. So that wy none of the bludy agints hav god back 2 me. My qeery leter was too sober!!!

LOL - Loved it, Anita.


Anita Joy on November 2, 2010 at 5:08 PM said...

Lol, Toni. Save the red for when you are writing the ms ;)

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