Ah, yes... the obvious Q choice. This one ties in with my P post yesterday. I have pretty good experience with queries. I've written them for myself, helped others with theirs. I've got the basics down.
The formula is simple:
Main Character, Goal, Conflict, Stakes
If you can pull off 1 to 2 paragraphs including that formula and add in a little voice, you've got it. Some peeps write their queries before the actual manuscript. I usually write a logline before the story. I have a query already written for my WIP now.
Lots of fabulous resources for queries! One great place I learned to craft a query is from lit agent, Kristen Nelson's blog website which you can find here. I loved the way she broke down Harry Potter and how a query would work for that story. Like a light going off. *bling*
Of course there's Query Shark for the not faint of heart. And Roland Yeomans and Matt MacNish give wonderful query advice.
If you're in the query phase now, I HIGHLY recommend visiting WriteOnCon here, and scrolling through the past two query chats with lit agents, Marianne Strong and Natalie Fischer. The event with Jessica Sinsheimer is April 25th. WriteOnCon is geared toward kid lit writers, but it doesn't matter what you write when you get to see a posted query and the agent's initial reaction after reading it. Wow! I've learned a lot from those chats. My schedule hasn't allowed me to attend the chat live, but I always go back and read through them and they are just bubbling over with awesome inside information. And kudos to the brave souls who post their queries up there for critique. The process is a little daunting, the way the agents quickly say, "Next!" after reading through someone's blood sweat and tears. *cold shivers*
If you are in the query / pitch stage and you missed my post yesterday, check it out for info on Pitch University's very helpful site.
I heard a quote from SCBWI that said if you haven't queried at least 100 agents, then you haven't really queried. Good to know! It's taken some writers years to find representation for one story. I've been looking for the past two years off and on. Query a little, write a new story ... query the new story, write another new story ... and so on....
QueryTracker is an awesome place to keep track of your queries and agents.
Anyway, if you are in the query stage, good luck! If you would like me to critique your query for you, I'd be happy to do so. Just send me an email at email@example.com.
DO you have any special query critiques or rituals? Please share ...