Many writers make this fatal, but common, mistake when they craft query letters. Instead of telling their stories, they tell about their stories. This condemns their query submissions to delete-ville.
Yikes. Nobody wants that!
The query has one purpose. To tell your story and prove you're the real deal: a writer with storytelling skills and a marketable manuscript. This is why it’s vital to write your query using the same tone and style as you’ve written your story.
TELLING THE STORY: Little Red Riding Hood skips down the forest path, lugging a ginormous picnic basket. She whistles a happy tune, eager to trade hugs and butterfly kisses with granny as they nosh on broccoli pizza and brownies.
This tells the story of Little Red Riding Hood and includes descriptive verbs like skip, lugging, whistle, eager, trade, and nosh.
TELLING ABOUT THE STORY: My story is about a little girl traversing a forest path, (unaccompanied by a responsible adult), who delivers lunch to her grandmother.
This tells “about” the story of Little Red Riding Hood, but reveals nothing about her emotions, her mission, or her lunch menu.
Which version is more inviting and presents the potential of an inviting read? Which will motivate the agent to continue reading? Did you chose the second one? Really? C’mon now! Study the difference.
Time-challenged agents will not spend a nano-second trying to figure out if you’re a writer of promise when you submit a query that tells about your story. Your query will fly off to delete-ville!
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