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CScottMorris
03-30-2010, 12:15 AM
I have researched and found conflicting opinions.
Should I open with a statement like "I am submitting for your consideration, my 50,000 word novel SPACE MONKEYS ORDER A PIZZA"? That seems like the logical opening, but it also seems obvious that I am submitting a novel for consideration.
Second, should the TITLE and word count be placed in the opening sentence, or at the end of the query? And if placed at the end, is an introduction needed? Can I simply launch with
'Dear [Agent],
When Captain OokOok of Space Monkey Command misses lunch, he takes his motley crew on a daring mission to find the perfect pepperoni and banana pizza.'
Can I simply begin with a one sentence plot summary?
'Dear [Agent],
A group of genetically-altered space-monkeys search the galaxy for the perfect pepperoni and banana pizza.'
Lastly, should I, or shouldn't I compare my novel to others within the same genre?
SPACE MONKEYS ORDER A PIZZA will appeal to readers of both Ook Ook Spidermonkey and J.R.R. Treeclimber.
This query is giving me fits, and the more I research how to write one, the more confused I become. Each version of my query seems better than the last, yet receives exponentially more criticism when I post for help.
A professional query letter writer could make quite a decent living...

ink wench
03-30-2010, 12:35 AM
The good thing about queries is that there's no one perfect way. The frustrating thing about queries is also that there's no one perfect way.

I have researched and found conflicting opinions.
Should I open with a statement like "I am submitting for your consideration, my 50,000 word novel SPACE MONKEYS ORDER A PIZZA"? That seems like the logical opening, but it also seems obvious that I am submitting a novel for consideration.It's just a sentence for politely getting information across. You could also say "Please consider for representation my my 50,000 word novel SPACE MONKEYS ORDER A PIZZA." Or you could put that info in the subject line of your email. Doesn't matter much.


Second, should the TITLE and word count be placed in the opening sentence, or at the end of the query? And if placed at the end, is an introduction needed? Can I simply launch with
'Dear [Agent],
When Captain OokOok of Space Monkey Command misses lunch, he takes his motley crew on a daring mission to find the perfect pepperoni and banana pizza.'Some agents like the title and word count up front. Others like you to get to your pitch right away. If they don't specify, or if there's no reason why it would be useful for them to know the info right away, take your pick.


Can I simply begin with a one sentence plot summary?
'Dear [Agent],
A group of genetically-altered space-monkeys search the galaxy for the perfect pepperoni and banana pizza.'You can. Some people do. Personally, I don't see the point, unless you can sum things up in a stellar sentence, and even then... meh.


Lastly, should I, or shouldn't I compare my novel to others within the same genre?
SPACE MONKEYS ORDER A PIZZA will appeal to readers of both Ook Ook Spidermonkey and J.R.R. Treeclimber.Again, up to you. Some agents like it. Others don't.


This query is giving me fits, and the more I research how to write one, the more confused I become. Each version of my query seems better than the last, yet receives exponentially more criticism when I post for help.
A professional query letter writer could make quite a decent living...Ah, but that's the joy of writing an awesome query. ;)

stormie
03-30-2010, 12:36 AM
You're going to get 50,000 ways to open a query. The most important things to remember are: it's "Dear (Agent): " (colon, not comma), the paragraph or paragraph about your novel should hook 'em and reel 'em in, and lastly, thank the agent for his time.

I've written so many different queries over the years, and what matters most is that the query is intriguing, the grammar and spelling perfect, and that you targeted the right person.

cate townsend
03-30-2010, 01:39 AM
And adding to the excellent advice above, I'll say: Keep it SHORT.

CScottMorris
03-30-2010, 03:00 AM
Yeah, that's the hard part. 97,000 words was easy, summing them up in less than a page, that's another story altogether...