Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Query Letter: Agony or Ecstasy

Nothing can make a writer click her heels together and do the happy dance like a response from her query letter that says, please send us your complete manuscript'. Conversely, nothing can tempt a writer to bang her head against the wall and drown her troubles in a vat of ice cream like a rejection.

Everyone has their own ideas on what constitutes a good query letter. My beginning and middle consist of what I hope is, an excerpt grabber from my book. My letter ends with the usual, 'if you would be interested in seeing the manuscript, I would love to send it to you,' etc.

I had what I thought was a good query letter and a great premise for The Crystal. I thought seeing a mysterious stranger in a crystal ball was a 'novel' idea. So I sent out my queries and sat back and waited for the response. When they finally came I went looking for the ice cream and a black armband.

After drowning my sorrows and stretching out my waistline, I sat down and took a long hard look at my letter. I decided to add one sentence. That one sentence turned my dings to requests. I even had an agent ask if she could use my letter as an example of how to write a great query letter in a workshop she was giving.

The sentence I added consisted of five little words....'Ecstasy coursed through her body.' Go figure.

1 comment:

nina nash said...

Heck, Sandra, I can see why those five little words would make a world of difference, LOL! Seriously, isn't it amazing how a small adjustment can make such a big difference? Congrats on getting the query just right and congrats on The Crystal. I look forward to reading it! :)