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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Help with query letter

    I'm writing a query letter, and it's over 500 words and that's describing about half the book. How do I write a shorter query yet still describe the plot so that the agent knows what the book is about? Also, one agent requested that she doesn't want a synopsis. Isn't that the same as a query?

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Cool Query Letter Help

    The synopsis is an overview of the story, whereas the query letter includes your background, market information (if requested), and a brief overview of the story.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by tjm View Post
    I'm writing a query letter...
    A query letter should follow a generally accepted structure. (I assume you're talking about a query letter for a novel, as opposed to nonfiction, which is a whole other can of worms). Opinions vary as to what this structure should be. Here are some sites that might help you:

    Evil Editor says a query letter is ten sentences (around 250 words) on one page that focus on the main character: who is he? what does he want? what's stopping him? what does he plan to do about it? and what bad thing happens if he fails? His website (he's a genuine book editor, not some freelancer) has examples and comments, so read the archives.

    Query Shark is of the same school (character/goal/conflict/stakes). She's a bona fide literary agent; her site is probably the go-to place for query analysis. (Her archive of query letters is extensive; be prepared to devote a few hours to perusing it. You'll be glad you did.)

    Lastly, AgentQuery Connect is an extensive site with multiple forums on query letters, synopses, and general "how do I find an agent?" stuff. When you're ready, you can post your query for critique, although the comments you get may be more well-meant than knowledgable.

    Good luck.

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