Monday, June 25, 2012

4 Query Resources

There is a ton--a ton!--of information out there on how to write a good query. Writers are lucky today! I thought I'd present a few of the more informative or helpful places I found. I hope these help someone! Of course, there are a ton of wonderful, well presented posts out there on writing queries--many of them written by agents. Do a Google search for "writing query letters." Here are just a few other resources that may help.

1. General Advice - stuff I've gleaned over the years
  • Keep the pitch portion of the query to 250 words.
  • Try writing the query in first person as your main character in order to inject your voice
  • Write the query about the first third of the book only
  • Don't wear pants while writing your query. "Pants" here is defined as restrictive bits of cloth that make you feel uncomfortable. Take those off! Wear happy, loose fitting pants and then tackle that query. (Fine, I made this one up. But I feel passionately about not wearing pants.)
2. A Few Query Collections

  • Ugliest Tattoos. Not technically a query site, but we all need a break now and then from query instruction--and staring at the screen with your mouth hanging open at these atrocious tattoos is a good diversion.

3. Query Deconstructions
  • Lauren Ruth is a Bookends agent and she does query critiques called Query Dice

4. Twitter Query Rejects or Accepts
The following agents do live query responses on Twitter.

and the following hashtags: #query and #10queriesin10tweets (typically done on Thursdays)

For a look at rejections from editors, follow @AngelaJames who does the popular Edit Report, which details the weekly reports from her editors and why they ended up rejecting.

If you have any to add let me know in the comments and I will update the post! And let me know if you wear pants!


Cathryn Leigh said...

Don't wear Pants, do the Sean Trues and put on a Kilt! *giggle fits* - sorry that's the Scottish Highland Dancer side of me coming out. :} But the Sean Trues does have a step in it where you're figurativly kicking off the pants.

And I know I'm not spelling Trues right - but that's the best I can do phonetically with out a Scotish dictionary to help. :}

Personally I don't mind pants, at least the business casual kind, but I do love long flowy skirts, but they are so much harder to find. *grins*

thanks for the advice.

JEM said...

Is it fair to guess you're doing some form of querying at the moment? Or you're just that helpful and resourceful? I'm working on a query right now for my latest WIP, so this is very helpful stuff. Query letters and I have agreed to disagree about their existence.

I try to avoid pants at all costs, so I'm right there with you.

Sierra Godfrey said...

Cathryn, I think they're spelled "trews!" Always thought that was a great name for plaid trousers.

JEM, no comment on the querying for me. But yes I am just helpful and resourceful, because I had all this great stuff and thought someone else might find it useful too. I'm glad these are helpful to you. Without pants :)

Julie Dao said...

Nice resources! I only query in pajama pants.

Meghan Ward said...

Nathan Bransford has a ton of wonderful blog posts about query letters, too. He's my number one resource for query letter info! It never occurred to me to write my query in the voice of my main character, but that's an interesting idea! I do think it's important to inject your voice into the letter as well as to write the letter naked. And thanks for all the resources. I didn't know about the Twitter reviews and hashtags!

KatieC said...

Thanks so much! This is very helpful :)

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