Monday, October 4, 2010

Hoping the Query Shark will bite

Over the weekend, I once again revised my query. I found an awesome blog, QueryShark, on which literary agent Janet Reid posts and comments on queries she receives.

That she will actually choose mine to publically critique is a long shot; in the blog, she states that it’s harder to get your query posted on QueryShark than to get a request for a full manuscript. The numbers speak for themselves: 200 fulls requested vs. 151 queries posted on QueryShark over the course of a year. But, as she also says, “the value of QueryShark is seeing what OTHER people have done and applying it to your work”.

This weekend, I did just that, and learned a lot. The main thing is that a query should convey the main character’s motives, the troubles they get into, and the choices they have to face to fix them. The last query I’d written up definitely didn’t do that; it was too short, too generic, there was no reason to get involved with the characters it described. I think I did a better job with the new one, even though it’s over 300 words long.

It’d be nice to know, though. I hope Mrs. Reid posts my query, even if she does rip it to teensy-tiny shreds on account of gobbledygookness. No matter how good a book is, if the query sucks, no agent will even catch a glimpse of it. An agent receives dozens of queries a day, so mine must stand out. It must entice, or better yet enthrall, an agent.

So please chow down, Madame Shark, if that will throw me in the path of intrigued dolphins.  

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