Post query for feedback & critique!
Follow the directions on the about page.
Critique others’ queries! We help each other here.
Use the resources in the pages and blogroll (on right).
Also check out #FirstPage for valuable feedback for the pages that agent will request after your awesome, revised query (thanks to #QueryVote) knocks their socks off. Check out this One Pass Revision site first.
1. Follow instructions.
– You spell right.
– You got their name right.
– You read their guidelines.
– You know what they want as agents.
– You know how to follow format from Writer’s Market.
– You get your grammar correct.
– You’ve checked the query letter for mistakes.
– The query letter isn’t too long.
– You don’t inflate yourself with credits that aren’t important to the book.
– You know what the agent wants.
2. Ability to make a good story.
– The quality of your writing in a query letter REFLECTS how well the agent thinks you write your story. If you ramble, then your story must ramble. If you are wordy, then your story must be wordy.
– Conflict, setting and main character(s) are clear.
– There is something unique about the story, yet familiar.
3. A sense of professionalism.
– You don’t say, “Hey, I have a great novel for you.”
4. Humble. Humble. Humble. Not self-deprecating, but humble.
– You don’t tell the agent what to think of your novel or characters: fantastic, sad, etc. Don’t talk about themes unless the agent is looking for X theme and stated so.
– You don’t say you are the best ever.
Hi everyone and thanks for looking at these. The first query is my original; the second a rougher draft based on a critique by a fellow writer. This is the meat of the query. I’ll add personal information later. IE: first paragraph agent info and last paragraph bio. A general critique or advice on which elements to keep and which to cut would be appreciated.
In a world changed by a cataclysm no one remembers, but which has left its footprints across the land, the Svistra, a race with a genetic deficiency that needs blood to survive, lived in relative peace. (more…)
I’ll be selfish here and say that I’m not submitting this to a specific agent yet, so I’m looking for feedback on the hook itself rather than an entire query letter. I’m not even sure if I want to publish the book officially or just through podcasting. I’m still on the fence about it, however, I know either way I still need a hook to interest readers. (more…)
Here are the two queries I am considering. One is more plot driven and one is character driven. Feel free to critique either or, and please tell me which one you like better!
Background: I met with the agent (Harding) this past weekend, and she requested the query. She requested the quotes at the end of the query too. I don’t typically put blurbs from other writers into my queries, (like it happens every day or something :-)) but she explicitly told me to put it in there, so don’t freak when you see them! (more…)
Hopefully they’re at least getting better each time! I look forward to your comments. ALSO- check out #firstpage where we can practice the NEXT STEP! Thanks Rachel! Witch is up there already! (bien sur!)
Dear Dream Agent:
Twelve-year-old Cullen must rescue his favorite teacher from Fiana, the vampire married to the wizard that possesses Cullen. (more…)
Dear agents name,
Mother of Pearl sits in the paranormal/romance/suspense genre and can be described as Charmed meets True Blood – Pearl, a homesick Liverpudlian student in Monterey Bay suffers from paranormal shock when a ghostly pendant falls into her possession, and a sexy but petulant gypsy is hot on her trail. (more…)
3 steps to a PREMISE. 4 Golden Rules for a HOOK.
A hook is based on your PREMISE. A synopsis is based on your PLOT. Get this straight before you write the hook. An Agent won’t know this, so this is my inside guide… (more…)
Before you submit a query to any agent, you need to do your research. Just for the past few months that I’ve been actively hosting QueryVote and preparing to query myself, I find the same mistakes over and over and over again.
Spend some time with the links on the right.
Research other queries and agent blogs. There is a wealth of info there from the agents’ mouths.
Follow them on Twitter. Many, many more resources over in the @Agents & Tips page
This is reprinted from edittorrent. I found this to be an excellent exercise.
I’m going to pretend I’m pitching something and will craft a fake list for us to use as an example.
Heroine: Laidback earth-mother
Hero: meticulous craftsman
Please vote on Query 1 or 2. Feedback and critique are welcome!
I am seeking representation for my 81,000-word memoir My Mother is Coming to Live with Me, a humorous, yet bittersweet chronicle of a mother and daughter’s unconditional love. My experience brings personal detail to a subject 25 million Americans of the Sandwich Generation currently face and 78 million Baby Boomers will likely confront in the near future.
Mom, in her late eighties, had a difficult operation in 2006 that sapped her strength and caused her to rethink living alone. I had already prepared for the day she would come to live with me and even though I knew it might be difficult, based my decision on heartfelt affection, respect and loyalty. Almost immediately my quirky frail parent turns bossy and demanding. Mom’s transformation includes midnight phone calls from her bed to mine, (more…)