Thursday, April 26, 2012

Query Structure - Part 2 - What My Editor Approved


Okay, so in my last query letter post, I had used the following formula I found on Agent Query.

Agent Query's structure was:
     Hook
     Paragraph Two—Mini-synopsis 
     Paragraph Three—Writer’s bio
     Your Closing


Nathan Bransford and my editor, Susan Malone had a different structure in mind: 
     Intro - Why are you querying this agent 
     Paragraph Two—Mini-synopsis 
     Paragraph Three—Writer’s bio
     Your Closing


The main difference I found was the approach. Susan and Nathan both feel that Agents don't want to be "wow'ed", they want to know why you want them to represent your book.

Fellow author, Maria Zannini, echoes this. Maria is not a big fans of hooks, but she feels it can be used in your synopsis.


With that said, I revised my query, and got "approval" (smiles) from Susan. YAY!


Here's what it looks like now: 


*****


Dear [Agent Name],

Because you represent [x,y,z] and because [personalized information about the agent], I feel that VIOLET STORM might be of interest to you.

Aeva Storm has just won the most gripping championship victory in Fila history when she is struck by lightning. After seeing her incredible skills and athleticism, Behr Absilim believes Aeva is exactly what he’s been searching for. Behr is the genius behind human Modifications, the technology that’s given new life to the vaincre-diseased plaguing the City-bloods. In secret, Behr steals Aeva’s body and surgically alters her, turning her into a nearly immortal weapon of death.

Using her family as leverage, Behr manipulates Aeva into assassinating the Monarch, ruler of the City of Light. Aeva must now decide between saving the lives of everyone she loves and dooming the fate of thousands, or fighting back…and risk losing everything.

At 93,000 words, written in present tense and first person point-of-view, VIOLET STORM is set in the far future after a catastrophic event nearly wipes out the human population. The story is full of action, romance, deception and surprising twists.

VIOLET STORM is my debut novel, I would be thrilled if you would consider it for representation. Thank you very much for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Best wishes,
Anna Soliveres     


*****


Hope this helps others looking to query. It took me four days (not straight, of course) to get to this point. So don't stress if you need time to let it stew. 

8 comments:

  1. Very generous of you to share what you are learning. Thank you!

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    1. You're welcome! I hope it helps. Queries are nerve-wracking... :S

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks so much for the feedback, Maria! :)

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  3. Anna - thanks for the tip. I will be using this valuable information right away, as I am currently seeking agents. In fact, I will update my queries tonight.

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    Replies
    1. Fantastic! It's quite a daunting task. I can't believe how long it took me (and I'm sure I'll keep tweaking it), but it sounds about right, for something that may invariably be your one and only opportunity to capture an agent's attention. :)

      Best of luck on your query, my friend!

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  4. Thanks for sharing this. Very helpful to see the two query structures side by side, and great query BTW!

    New follower!

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  5. Thanks Carissa! More to come as I start submitting and getting further feedback. Apologies for the delay, still on the road! :)

    Cheers,
    Anna

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