As opinionated as I am, even I recognize there’s more than one way to skin a query letter.
There are two schools of thought on how to handle the first line of your query letter:
The Statistics School Of First Lines touts a simple method: Give the age group, genre, title, and word count in the first sentence. Several agents subscribe to this method, arguing they don’t want to scan the entire page to see if the manuscript fits into a niche they represent. Plain. Matter-of-fact.
The Hookers–er, that doesn’t sound quite right. The Create A Hook In Your First Line Faction promotes the fabrication of a sentence so fascinating, so emotionally wrought that the agent cannot look away.
Which to use?
Personally, I am a Hooker. I mean, uh–oh you know what I mean. I will pore over one well-crafted sentence for days. If the purpose of a query is to sell your book, then to me, one ought to show some craft.
Don’t drive yourself insane. If you want to ease into the substance of your query, than citing your manuscript statistics is a valid way to go. Just promise me…you won’t tell us how much your kid loves your story.
How about the letter that starts with how we know them? If we met them at a conference, etc?
I’m a hooker. *ahem* 🙂
Wendy, if you met and had an actual conversation, or spilled hot coffee down the agent’s shirt, or performed CPR, or did or said anything he could possibly remember, then by all means start with that.
And Robyn…somehow, I knew. 😉