Saturday, January 16, 2010

Once upon a Query dreary....

I've been playing over at Slushpile and, of course, I love the Query Shark so I was wondering if there's a formula for this stuff?
I have my own idea on what makes a good query and it breaks down to three things. Conflict, motivation and goal.
The conflict would be the hook or whatever sparks the story. Motivation is why the character feels they have to take action. Life or death? Righting a wrong? Saving someone? something? The goal is where they want to get to, which outcome they are working for.
I usually start with three sentences that say these things and go from there. If more is needed then I start layering in more information. Then I go back and start cutting.
Did I really need this word? Is this fact necessary at this point?
And the biggest questions...Do I have everything the agent needs to get the gist of the story? Is my hook strong enough?
If I were an agent and looking at my 100th query before lunch would this grab me?
I get rejections and I get some reads. Some very nice agents and editors give me good comments along with the not-for-them salutation. It's okay, rejections don't bother me anymore. Some day I'm going to wallpaper my bathroom with them.

How's your query?

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