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Query Letters

posted Jul 14, 2019, 8:55 AM by Ben Kreucher
Query letters are a lot like first dates. They can be awkward or they can be great. It's a way to see if there's a spark, chemistry between an author and an agent. If a work has potential beyond the page, to spread and grow and become a phenomenon.

Knowing that and writing a great query is as hard as forming a great first date. Especially if you frame it as your last/only chance to find representation (or a spouse). It's a difficult task to pare down the hours, days, weeks, months, years it has taken to write your novel. It's harder still to condense the plot that takes the entirety of the manuscript into a short paragraph or a sentence. 

However, it's our job to capture that feeling of intensity that drives the book and imbue it into the query letter to engage the agent and get them excited to read our book. A daunting task indeed.

So, instead of looking at it as your only chance, perhaps frame it as an opportunity to make a great first impression. Not just with how well written you are but how excited you are for your novel. And, as the famous adage goes, "Show, don't tell". Allow your work to speak for itself in how you describe it. Capture it so it captivates.

At the end of the day, we all want to root for a good book. We all desire great books. Readers all looking for the next Harry Potter series. Authors want to be the next C.S. Lewis. Agents want to represent the next Neil Gaiman. So, go out there and write your book. Get people excited with your query letter, i.e. back cover blurb. And find your voice.

Don't try to be the next anyone. The world needs your voice. You just might outshine your wildest dreams.
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