Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Endless Query

Back at it, once again. Holiday's over. Back on the bus.

Out of ten queries sent out, I've received 9 form rejections, one no response.
So, even though that is only one batch of queries sent, the response rate (zilch) would indicate that maybe the query itself isn't doing its job. And, as I've lain awake in those hours after midnight not thinking about it, what I've not thought about is that the query I've been using doesn't really get to the nature of the story. It sounds like a basic good (gay) guy vs. evil-evangelist story. But that isn't really it. It's more supernatural, more creepy, more David Lynchian. The query needs to convey more of that. Normaltown, USA being invaded by beings from some dark dimension to capture the vortex of powerful energy (light) that "downloads" there and to invert it to its dark opposite, beginning the plunge of this planet, a gameboard in the greater scheme, into darkness, reversing its evolution, and winning one for the dark side. 

And this must all be conveyed as a sales tool in a prescribed format (with variations per agent guidelines): The hook, preferably one strong grabber sentence to get across the basic thrust, including the protagonist, the problem to be overcome (both plot problem and the protag's internal problem), the nature of the quest, i.e. what's at stake if s/he doesn't achieve his/her goal. The hook is then followed by an extremely briefs synopsis of the main plot only, a few pertinent details, but most importantly, the voice and essence of the story. All to make the agent request some of all of the actual manuscript. No small task, but one which every unpublished author must face, and there is definitely good company in the misery of the task.

Or did I say all this before?
So, once more unto the breach...

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