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hikarinotsubasa
10-18-2013, 03:58 PM
Quick and dirty question, because I've gotten conflicting information from Google.

I know that you include the ending in the synopsis, which would be 1-5 pages depending on the agent's preference and would only include a description of the plot (not anything like writing credentials or why you think it would be a good match for that agent). What I haven't figured out is... do you also include the ending in that 1-3 paragraph blurb in the cover letter? The single page that also includes your bio and such?

I have seen sample cover letters that read like a blurb, and include the final conflict and/or question, and not the resolution. And I've seen samples that do include the resolution.

In general, which is preferred? And does that preference change if the agent does NOT want a synopsis?

Thank you!

Old Hack
10-18-2013, 04:24 PM
If you go to our Share Your Work section you'll find a room called Query Letter Hell. There are all sorts of threads there which tell you how best to write a query letter, which you might find helpful.

hikarinotsubasa
10-18-2013, 04:33 PM
Yes, based on the information I've seen here, it seems that you would not.

From the stickies in QLH:
TEASER: End with a teaser. This means a cliffhanger, an important decision, a twist, something that will intrigue the agent.

That is the way I've been drafting my queries. Does that also apply if the agent does not want a synopsis, though? I understand that the query is supposed to get the agent to want to read the synopsis, and the synopsis should make them want to read the story. But in the case of an agent who does not request a synopsis, does that mean that they do not want to know the ending until and unless they request a full?

robjvargas
10-18-2013, 04:51 PM
There are all kinds of nuanced answers to that, like looking for the agent's blog and see what they say about their expectations.

But I think you're actually asking the wrong question.

It's not about wanting to know the ending, or not wanting to know. It's about being able to make a decision on whether to move forward with you towards possible representation. They know that the query isn't a telling of the story.

I think you can tailor the style of a query a bit, but the structure is pretty universal.

hikarinotsubasa
10-18-2013, 05:02 PM
Okay, that makes sense. It's not like I'm trying to keep the ending a secret or anything (well, except from readers!), just (as always) trying not to get auto-rejected for something that shouldn't be a big deal at all. :)

Wilde_at_heart
10-18-2013, 07:34 PM
From my experience in QLH, often the problem boils down to unclear or poorly-defined stakes at the end.

Either they are too big - like staving off Armageddon or The End of the Universe which elicits a yawn because it's too detached from the MC. Of course nobody wants to die... What's so special about your particular MC not wanting to die?
Or it seems like a forgone conclusion like, 'can he save her?'. Of course he will. yawn.
Or something that makes the reader go, wtf? where they bring up a villain not even hinted at in the previous three paragraphs.

waylander
10-18-2013, 07:48 PM
Take a look at Queryshark too: queryshark.blogspot.com

Jamesaritchie
10-18-2013, 09:37 PM
If an agent or editor has no idea whether the story ends as well as it begins, why would they request more? Yu don't sell the opening of a story, you sell the opening, the middle, and the ending.

You don't have to spell anything, opening or ending, in a query, but it's just not very smart to leave out how the story ends, happy, sad, poignant, etc.

Siri Kirpal
10-18-2013, 10:36 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Look at what agents say on their websites. Some DO want the ending, and more usually some DON'T. Give the agent what he/she wants.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Little Ming
10-19-2013, 01:26 AM
There are all kinds of nuanced answers to that, like looking for the agent's blog and see what they say about their expectations.

But I think you're actually asking the wrong question.

It's not about wanting to know the ending, or not wanting to know. It's about being able to make a decision on whether to move forward with you towards possible representation. They know that the query isn't a telling of the story.

I think you can tailor the style of a query a bit, but the structure is pretty universal.

Yeah, that. :D

The only firm rule in query-writing is to get the reader/agent to want more. All other "rules" are more like general observations, trends, and guidelines.

So the real question you should be asking is if you do include the ending will that make the reader/agent want more?