Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Query Quest IV: Ready to Send

The past few posts have featured the evolution of Writing Practicum member Bob Ghent's query letter from First Attempt to Gawky Adolescent Query to Yes! It's Ready / OOops! It's Not Query.

Regular readers know that just as Bob was planning on sending out the query featured in yesterday's blog, he DISCOVERED A MAJOR FLAW RUNNING THROUGH IT AND ALL PREVIOUS VERSIONS!

The horror!

Upon noticing the flaw, Bob did what any well-intentioned query newbie should do. He synthesized what he had learned thus far, incorporated his new knowledge, and wrote a kick-butt query letter that easily tops all earlier versions.

What was the problem? you ask? If you haven't spotted it yet, I'll give Bob the honor of the Big Reveal. Take it away, Bob...

~Drum Roll~

***

P.O.V. Point Of View! The most recent version of the query featured at least five shifts in POV! First Tonk, then Cira, Strager, Jace, and back to Cira. I didn’t stick to the POV of the protagonist(s). The query is only 244 words. How hard could it be to keep a single POV? No wonder it felt choppy when I read it.

Here's the final version -- the one I'm sending out
:

Version 6 - 226 words

Cira and Jace discover dragons are real when a young Tonk falls from the sky. They learn his wings are too small to fly back to the portal and when it closes in twenty-four hours, it will seal his death. Cira’s heart goes out to Tonk and determines that she and her thirteen-year old twin must save him.

They learn of a mysterious handwritten book about magic and dragons. Their search for it involves them with Kade, a seven-foot felon willing to kill to get a dragon. They cannot turn to the sheriff for help. He wants Tonk for revenge against a rogue dragon that murdered his wife.

Cira and an unlikely ally hide Tonk while Jace continues searching. He finds the book, learns its secrets and when kidnapped by Kade is forced to reveal Tonk’s location. He attempts to escape but it leaves him near death and allows Kade to capture Tonk.

The rogue dragon returns with a dangerous agenda. Magic sword in hand and astride a dragon whose heart is larger than its wings, Cira battles the rogue. However, it is brutally strong. She fails and has only seconds to discover the secret of her one resource or die.

The twins are polar opposites and must learn that working together is the only way to defeat Kade, stalemate the sheriff and return Tonk home.

(NOTE: Of course, salutation, title, genre, word count, & author contact information are all included.)

******

And with that, Bob hit:

Hoping this was helpful to those on their own Query Quest. What process did you go through as your own query letter(s) evolved? Care to share?

["Send button" featured on Examiner.com.]

3 comments:

Ben Langhinrchs said...

Again, thank you for posting this evolution. It is both educational and entertaining to watch the mistakes made and caught, and the query get better and better.

Ami Hendrickson said...

Ben,

Thanks for your kind words. Glad you enjoyed this series of posts. Wishing you luck on your own Query Quest!

ghentba said...

Ami,

I wanted to say thanks for running my Query Quest. I cringed every time you posted my next attempt but it does show the advantage of not giving up to make it better. Good luck to all the writers.