Yes, I quoted Pink. It’s an awesome song, and she’s got a point. Query writing sucks. It’s hard, but if you don’t try, then you can never succeed.
Also, you guys should know that my original novel never made it into Pitch Wars, or anywhere else. What I learned as someone trying to enter Pitch Wars gave me the tools to write a novel that landed me an agent. The community helped me with my query letter. I went through like 12+ drafts before this one. So, make sure to involve yourself with the community and find your tribe, or at the very least, soak up all the knowledge floating around out there.
A few tips: Try to keep it between 250-350 words. Make it long enough to make the plot of the story clear, and be able to define your stakes, but don’t make your query a letter a novel. Don’t name more than three characters, because it gets super confusing. No, no, no, no rhetorical questions. Clear stakes are a must. If you’re not sure about the stakes, try using this little formula to get thinking: My character must do this or that (usually a consequence) will happen.
It doesn’t work every time, but it might give you a starting place that you can evolve from.
Anyway, without further ado:
Dear Super-Amazing Agent
REDEMPTION is a romantic thriller, complete at 71,000 words.
There’s no manual for how to cope with being the daughter of a serial killer.
When twenty-six-year-old Molly Harper returns to North Carolina for her father’s execution after spending the past twenty years in the Witness Protection Program, she doesn’t anticipate crossing paths with Aidan Spencer, the son of her father’s final victim and the boy who convinced her to turn him in all those years ago. Desperate to know if he escaped the shadow of the horrific murders, she follows him to the general store where he works.
But Molly gets more integrated into his life than she plans when she thrusts Aidan’s little boy out of the way of an oncoming car and winds up in the hospital. As she recovers, Aidan shows her kindness and patience unlike any she’s ever known by accepting her for who he thinks she is. Love blossoms between them, but when the truth of Molly’s past is revealed, her fears are recognized as Aidan casts her out. Molly once again tries to run from her past, but winds up in the path of an insane kidnapper hell-bent on finishing the work Molly’s father started long ago.
As her past catches up with her present, Molly finds she’s not the only victim. The kidnapper also takes Aidan’s son intending to create the perfect family. But Molly knows if they don’t play their parts, if they upset the kidnapper, they’ll wind up just like her father’s original victims.
About me section that actually pretty much no longer applies in 2018, so I won’t bore you with it.
Per your guidelines, I have included whatever their guidelines specified.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
There ya go. I’m super thankful that my agent gave me a chance, because I still cringe when I look at my query, and a lot of times, I think that’s a natural reaction. So, if you’re looking and cringing, well, most of us who already have agents, are right there with ya.
I hope this offers some insights for you guys and I can’t wait to read your stuff!