Saturday, May 14, 2011

Query 71: Final Thoughts

Wow, vkw, Sarah and AA all get A's on the pop quiz for their rewrites, and Jo-Ann gets credits for her advice ;p

In the comments for The Anasazi Conspiracy, each commenter came at the story a little differently in their version of the query. Now it's the author's job to decide which way of approaching the query speaks best to him.

Remember that the query's job is to entice and to not leave too many of the wrong questions in a reader's head when they're done. The only question a reader should have on finishing is "Where are the pages?!" Not leaving questions, however, doesn't necessarily mean trying to answer all the questions critters bring up in their critiques. Often it means eliminating the source of the question. Cutting rather than adding. It's hard. We become convinced that we have to put it ALL out there.

But a query is more like a first date. Play up the positives, hit the high notes, and save something for next time. Leave the reader eager for another date and getting to know more about the story.

There's great bits in each of the rewrites to choose from. My only addition is a suggestion around how to add the historical bits to the query. I agree with the other commenters, that, set up this way, the 1607 dateline still feels like a prologue. One way to get across how the book is set up and why it runs long may be to CUT ALL the 1607 part and simply state at the end:

Intercut with the tragic story of the downfall of an ancient Anasazi civilization, THE ANASAZI CONSPIRACY is a mainstream action-adventure, complete at 160K words. I appreciate your consideration.

1 comment:

AA said...

Yay! I got an A!