While many are getting ready to see Breaking Dawn (part one), there's another movie you may be psyched to check out this upcoming spring. And now you can see more of it than you ever have before.
The trailer for THE HUNGER GAMES is out. And we have it for you. Right here.
They're all I think about lately. They're all I talk about. All the sites I link you to have to do with QUERYING.
While there's plenty out there telling us how to formulate those important paragraphs sharing our hook, characters, stakes, plot points, etc,.... what do we do with those "other" paragraphs? The ones that go before/after the paragraphs we sweat, bleed and cry over?
The personalization, novel info and bio paras? Hmmmm?
You don't want to make them too long. You don't want to add any irrelevant information. You shouldn't personalize it just for the sake of personalizing it. Meaning: don't just type out meaningless crap that you took only seconds to research. Take it from (click link) Mary Kole, "Just like with citing comparative titles, if you’re not going to do it well, don’t do it at all."
You don't want to comp titles/authors that are too well known. You don't want to use books published too long ago.
You don't want to include information about yourself that doesn't pertain to your novel, yet you want to give the agent a sense of who you are.
Many times there is a lot of conflicting advice floating around on agency websites, in agent interviews and on agent blogs, and in feedback from various agents.
What's a writer to do?
I think for us newbies, the best bet is to keep it short and simple.
DO personalize. BE specific. Tell the agent about a specific conference you attended with them and quote them. Tell them something they said that you connected with or felt was brilliant. Mention a specific blog post they wrote and how it helped you. Mention something they said in a specific interview. How did that comment/information lead you to believe you and the agent would be a perfect fit?
DO share about your education/studies in one sentence. DO share any published work you have, but INCLUDE the publisher, the date, the specific information.
DO state your novel's title, word count, genre, and intended audience.
DO comp your novel to others IF you can be specific. Does your novel match another author's voice? (Make sure it shows if you've included pages.) Does your MC have the same spunk as so and so's MC? Is there a conflict in your novel that matches the conflict in a published novel? Does the romanctic tension in your novel mirror that of a published novel? Does your world-building compare to another author's fantasy world?
HOWEVER. If comparing your novel to others out there, make sure your query shows how it will stand out next to all the novels already out there that have similarities. Otherwise, you know, it's like...yeah, been there, done that. Already published!
What's your advice to me on how to handle the beginning and end of my query? Where do you tend to put the novel information, at the beginning or the end? Why?