Writing the Query — the Real Way!

I found this on the Miss Snark website, which was a fabulous blog by an anonymous literary agent. Frankly, this is probably the best way to write a query — and will be just as successful as the way I’ve been doing it.

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 Dean Koontz‘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.
 
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4 Responses

  1. Maybe the whole book would be better with the gin factor. Heck, if it works for query, so much the better for the manuscript!

  2. I agree with stcatty…but at least I know what I’ve been doing wrong with the few letters I’ve sent out.

    Just one question, I’m not a big gin fan, do you think some Kahlua and vodka or rum and Coke will be as effective? Appreciate any advice on this.

  3. I think we should experiment on the best combination of alcohol and writing until we formulate the perfect ms, synopsis and query. Tonight it is white wine and Chapter 17 for me.

  4. I laughed while reading this . . . then checked the liquor cabinet. Yessss, with arm pump. I’m ready for my next query!

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