Copyright © 2008 Faith Bicknell-Brown
All rights reserved, Wild Child Publishing.
Query Formats, Break Downs, and Sweat Stains
I can't begin to tell you how many writers email me through my private email, MySpace, and other online venues to ask me how to write a synopsis or what to include or not to include in one. The amount of emails I receive about how to gain a literary agent's attention or who I recommend that they query boggles my mind. However, when I stop and think about when I was querying agents, I recall the hundreds of websites I combed through and the masses of queries whether email or snail mail that I sent out. Yeah, finding agents who may be interested in your novel is daunting, but if you want to break into the traditional print world, this is a task that you must tackle with your eyes wide open.
Moreover, I can't convey how freaked writers are by the prospect of writing queries and synopses or how intense their insecurities are about their first drafts. Writers really sweat these letters out, agonizing over every word and line--and they should. A query is your moment to strut your stuff, so to speak, without coming across as egotistical. The trick is that you must cram all the main details, your credentials, and other pertinent facts into a one-page letter.
Seriously, there are many Internet sites that cater to this very topic (I'll mention a few later). But, it seems that writers feel that info straight from the horse's mouth is safer, so the bulk of this volume will center on my experience writing and using synopses and query letters. Perhaps by using a step-by-step method and some online references that offer additional examples, this volume will ease and possibly even defeat your worries about these necessary evils.
Like I said in volume III about book blurbs, the same thing applies to writing a synopsis or a query letter: just the facts, ma'am. If you try to include Aunt Bertha's bunions that she complains about throughout the novel, or the fact that the heroine's four year old picks his nose in every chapter, you're on the road to Writers' Hell.