Query letters

The time has come to type up a few more query letters.  I've been looking at several books and sites to decide what MY perfect query should look like.  Since the  most important part of a query letter is to include the right information AND allow your own voice to come through, a combination of several different types of might work.

There are several things to consider when writing the query letter:
1. Your protagonist - this would be your hero or heroine - the person the story is mainly about.  Keep in  mind that while you will have both in the story, we all know the story is really only the hero's or the heroine's.  Once you know that, make sure you include pertinent information - the person's age and their main purpose.

2. Of course next, make sure you tell the reader about the protagonist's ultimate goal.  Is it to save a sibling? To marry the local lord? Or to escape the drudgery of her life?  Whatever the main goal - make sure you are clear about it.

3. Next, you need to include the major conflict that will prevent your protagonist from achieving his/her goal.  (This brings us back to Goal, Motivation, and Conflict - you remember these).  Something in the story will keep the protagonist from reaching his/her goal.  Make sure you are clear about this in your letter.

4. Last, do not forget to state the stakes.  Why is this conflict going to cause problems for your protagonist?  If the protagonist does not achieve his/her goal - what is going to happen?  Will they be thrown in jail?  Will they lose custody of the sibling?  Will they lose their family estate?  Something that drives the goal and motivates the protagonist to do all the things he/she does during the story.

Try to keep your query letter to one page.  Make sure you include your writing credits as well as the name of the manuscript, the genre, word count, and thank the reader for their time.

Sounds easy, doesn't it?  Then let's get one done.

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