There is so much writing advice out there, and particularly advice on querying, that you could literally spend forever trying to absorb it all. It can be overwhelming. You've written this entire novel, yet trying to write 2-3 stinking paragraphs about it becomes a seemingly impossible task.
I used to beat my head against my keyboard trying to figure out how to do it the right way. (And by the way, this need to write a query never goes away. Even after you're published, you have to write back cover copy and short synopses. So it's a skill that gets used over and over again.)
But then I stumbled upon this simple tip from Agent Kristin Nelson and the dark storm clouds parted. Suddenly, it all made perfect sense. And I haven't stressed about writing that snappy little summary again.
So what did she say?
The query should be about the first third of your book.
That's it. It's not a synopsis of everything that's happened. It's a teaser, it's a back cover style blurb. You give the set up, the main characters, the big conflict, and then a nice juicy foreshadowing/hooky sentence at the end. The purpose of it is to make the agent or editor say--ooh, I need to read these pages to see what happens or where she goes with this.
I'll use my back cover blurb for CRASH INTO YOU as an example:
I hope that break down makes sense. Once you stop worrying about fitting in all that other stuff, the query no longer feels as daunting. Just give them your first act and get out. Save the rest of it for that other dreaded thing--the synopsis. : )
So have you heard this tip before? Have you ever received a simple tip that gave you an ah-ha moment (feel free to share those tips with us!)? What has helped you with your query writing?
"Revved up and red-hot sexy, CRASH INTO YOU, delivers a riveting romance!" --Lorelei James, NY Times Bestselling author of the ROUGH RIDERS series
CRASH INTO YOU is now available for pre-order!
Read an excerpt here.
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