January 12, 2013 by Kiersi
Yep, it’s that time again–a new manuscript, a new query.
For me, writing a query is a long, long process; one that usually begins while the manuscript I’m querying is still in the early stages (first or second draft). There are a couple reasons for this:
1. Writing a query requires fundamentally understanding the story you’re trying to tell. When I say “query,” I’m meaning the whole shebang: the hook, the pitch, the short bio, the ass-kissing. And none of these things are possible to do well if you’re not absolutely sure of the story, the characters, and the stakes.
And it’s not just understanding the structure of these things, or what they look like, or writing them in pretty sentences–it’s also understanding their appeal. (more…)
Category In Progress, Literary Agents | Tags: editors,how to write a query,literary agents,query letters | 8 Comments
August 29, 2012 by Kiersi
photo by fmgbain
Each new query letter I write is like learning to ride a bike all over again, with the accompanying falling, scraping, and toddler-esque shrieks of frustration. I don’t think it will ever matter how many times I write a mini-synopsis–each manuscript has its own set of challenges to be overcome in breaking down a book-length plot into a short pitch.
Finding inspiration in book blurbs and dust jackets.
The first problem I’ve had writing my query letter for The Aeronauts is that the novel takes place across multiple settings. Parallel worlds, really, if we’re going to get technical. It means I have to introduce not one, but two environments within a single mini-synopsis. And while one world (Earth) doesn’t feature prominently in the story, it is the protagonist’s home and the backdrop to her character, so it requires a little airtime in the query letter. (more…)
Category In Progress, Industry | Tags: David Rakoff,literary agents,Lydia Sharp,query letters,writing a book synopsis,writing a query | 8 Comments