From Pitch to Query Letter

Yes, this didn’t get posted until the afternoon. C’mon, gimmee a break. It’s Christmas!

falalalaput me down

But you didn’t come here to look at silly Christmas memes and gifs.

Ron the Gnome! Crazy Collector(Or you won’t admit that’s the reason you came here, anyway.)

Let’s talk queries.

Writing your first query can seem like a daunting task. In one or two short paragraphs you must get across all the information the agent/editor needs to understand and realize that they cannot live without your manuscript.

Tall order. But. You can do it.

15-fat-nc-state-fan-best-sports-gifs-of-2012
This is all for you, querier.

Start with:

THE THREE PARTS OF A PITCH

  1. IDENTIFY YOUR CHARACTER, AND WHAT MAKES HIM/HER UNIQUE.
  • “Twelve-year-old Samuel, the oldest of fifteen children, loses his father in an unfortunate slingshot accident.”
  • “Freckle-face Katrina can’t eat peanut butter like the other first-graders.”
  • “Eight-year-old Wilma, born a princess, is now a slave to the Count of Monte Crisco.”

2. WHAT HE/SHE MUST OVERCOME

  • “A bumpy-nosed ogre steals Chantal’s youngest puppy.”
  • “When a sharknado sweeps through town…”
  • “An army of gnomes overruns Lars’ home and forces him to become one of them.”

3. WHAT YOUR CHARACTER MUST ACCOMPLISH

  • “Sidney must outsmart the neighborhood bully so he can walk to school unfettered.”
  • “…Fauntleroy must find a way to disinfect it, so he won’t contract blood poisoning and die.”
  • “…she must choose between a life of leisure or a chance to become the first woman to win the Mayfield Mustache-Growing competition.”

Tack on your genre, bio and why-I-am-writing-to-you-dear-agent, and you’ve got a query letter.

Still unsure? Read a bunch of TV synopses. It will get your brain thinking in the right pattern.

Is there anything TV can't fix?
Is there anything TV can’t fix?

 

4 thoughts on “From Pitch to Query Letter

Add yours

  1. Thanks for this. There are so many posts online about queries, so it’s really nice to have a ‘bare bones’ one that helps you to focus on the main points.

    Like

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