Everything we know about queries, we learned from a shark.
|This seemed like such a great idea on the surface|
Wrong. Vicious is good. And ruthless is great. Let me introduce you to the Query Shark.
A blog created by NY literary agent extraordinaire Janet Reid, Query Shark takes queries and viciously rips them to shreds. And then follows the ripping with sage advice and vaguely shark-themed non-sequitors, such as "Thanks for being my chum!" It's like she's some kind of half-shark-half-human mutant or something.
|Oh for...Goddammit Google Image Search! Can you leave at least one part of my brain untraumatized?!?|
And she just might make you publishable.
We're not going to lie. It took awhile. We read that blog like crazy, pouring over every entry, studying every critique like it was God's gift to writing. But even then it didn't work the first time.
I guess the shark just wasn't biting that day.
I mean, it was bad. No bites. Not even a nibble. And in one case, we may have accidentally killed one of the agents.
Going back to Query Shark was really hard after that, but we couldn't stay away for long. And good thing we did, because then we found this: http://queryshark.blogspot.com/2010/12/192-ftw.html
It was so unique, so original, so completely out-of-the-box, we almost wet ourselves after reading it. After that, Josin L. McQuein became our hero.
She made us realize that we've been going about it all wrong. We were way too wrapped up with following the rules, getting all the details right, and making it work that we forgot about the most important rule.
Hook the reader.
|Like this, but with words instead of jail time|
And guess what? It worked!
Update: Holy crap, two more requests! One from Jim McCarthy and another from Suzie Townsend! *FAINTS*
Double Update: We won a contest! SQEEEE! To any who are curious, the query itself and the first 250 words of our manuscript are here.