My third Query Letter

Writing a query letter to an agent is something that seems like a horrible task when reviewed and researched on-line.  Never being one to quit I took the advice of many agents, authors, and reviewers into view when compiling this query.  Please tell me what you think, and again take the poll.

“The climbing number of terrorist actions had brought the world to Washington D.C. for Mr. Rakford’s inauguration.  At a place of peace and in a time of hope did death and fear strike by the force of “Christian” terrorists.

Andrew Rakford, 35, was a man of altruistic authority when he was named President of the United States.  Wanting to take the woes of the world and turn them into victories along with the wrongs into rights, would he make the world a better place.  He wasn’t, however, the only one with a plan.  His mother always reminded him that God had many great things for him to accomplish, but as these plans came to confrontation the world began taking an agonizing turn.  Though they melded and worked perfectly together, it remained tethered at the final result of Andrew.  Would he be the best president in years, releasing the world of the terrorist hold, or the greatest evil known to man in the form of the Antichrist?”


Posted on September 14, 2010, in feedback, Queries and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. “Wanting to take the woes of the world and turn them into victories along with the wrongs into rights, would he make the world a better place.”

    I think that needs a question mark instead of a period. Otherwise, sounds good. 🙂 I hate writing query letters. Hate being an understatement. Best wishes!

  2. Hello again, Caleb. My feedback, as requested:

    Overall, a definite improvement. You are missing some things for this to be a formal query letter, but for that I’ll refer you to my How To Write: Cover Letters to Publishers post.

    In terms of the summary, you have improved. However, you still don’t delve much into the plot itself. Your story question is clear (Will President Andrew Rakford save the world?), which is good, but what disasters happen along the way? Does he succeed in the end? In what ways does he struggle to achieve his goal? These are questions you should answer in your summary, without making the summary longer than one paragraph. Try for 5 sentences, but don’t go over 7. That’s the summary only, remember.

    The rhetorical question is a risk. If you write one really well, it can be a great hook. But there are agents who hate rhetorical questions and will refuse to read your letter if you have one. So it’s up to you.

    That does bring me to the hook, though, which is something I also need to work on quite a bit. You can use a compelling (and short) excerpt from your novel as a hook, or perhaps your novel’s theme is intriguing enough to merit further reading.

    If you get stuck on your synopsis, I suggest you check out Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method. If you scroll down to step 2, he talks about how to write a synopsis using the “3-act” or “3-disaster” structure, which is what I use. Randy also has a lot of other information on query letters, agents, and the road to publication.

    Random thoughts: Maybe have an excerpt of Andrew’s mother’s thoughts as the hook (saying God has a plan for him). Try to avoid passive voice (was named, for example, you can change out for ‘the people of the United States of America voted him President’ for something more powerful).

    I think that’s it for now, time for me to catch a train home from work.
    Keep up the good work, though, you’re almost there!

  3. You might want to check out Miss Snark’s blog. It is heaped with information.

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