Another foot of snow. That’s one good thing about being on winter break—we’re not getting dinged for yet another snow day.
Scalzi has confessed to having non-earbud-friendly ears. It’s so nice not to be the only person who can’t pull off that hip and sleek earbud look. I have to use full headphones, dammit.
I’ve been following Dear Author’s Saturday Query series, though probably for all the wrong reasons. It kills me to read those entries/comments.
Those aren’t query letter blurbs. And, in my ever so humble opinion, the very worst thing any writer can do is open any aspect of her work to criticism from a mass committee. Comment after comment giving very negative reaction to what’s being critiqued as back cover copy, to story elements, to grammar and spelling. (Not that critiquing grammar and spelling is a bad thing.) Misinformation. (You never spell out the ending in a query letter blurb. Please.) Conflicting information. The queries were beaten down, but not built back up. And I worry that, due to Google ranking or whatever, those will come up in a query how-to search and new writers will try to learn from them.
Other than a few comments by authors who tried to help only to be drowned out, I haven’t seen anything I’d consider helpful in writing a query letter.
The query letter blurb is one paragraph—the best paragraph you’ve ever written in your life. Showcase the book’s voice, it’s hook, that special something that makes it different than the other thousands of queries crossing the editor’s desk.
It is not a synopsis. It is not back cover copy.
I think for this Friday’s Weekend Question, I’m going to write a mock query letter for…I don’t know, a movie maybe. Or I’ll make up a book. Then maybe we can analyze some of the elements in the comments, share some of what has worked and what hasn’t for other authors.