Based on the advise I’ve gotten from several blogging writers (*coughInkyGlam&Davincough*), I updated my query letter once again (v3.0). Glam said I need to be more specific, Inky taught me about “the sentence,” and Davin suggested I try to summarize the novel in five sentences.
Well, I don’t know if I succeeded on all three fronts, but I certainly tried. Oh, and almost everyone said to shorten it. (was 360 words, now 215) When I finished v3.0 I reread the old one for comparison and noticed something in particular.
The original query (the one that got sent to EE) read like a gimmick. Like I was trying to get an agent to read my ms as if he or she were browsing through a store reading back covers. It contained little actual substance, but lots of catchy lines:
“kidnapped by a supposed myth that turns out to be all too real”
“complete with magic, myth, and a cast of characters that act so human, they’re actually related”
“must wade through the layers of intrigue and outright lies”
I think the new one tells the story better, without the gimmick. I felt like I was on the right track with v1.0 and now I’m on a whole different track. You don’t know what you didn’t know until you know it. (Follow?) Well, I learned some things and I have my fellow bloggers to thank for it. I don’t know whether I’ll stay on this track or if I have more to learn to get to another track, but it was a positive step forward in any case.
Here’s the new version:
[redacted for your sanity and my eyes. it did improve from earlier versions, but still... ugh]
Better, no? It still feels a bit synopsis-y but I think it gets the point across. My big problem with it now is that while it certainly gets all the main points across, it feels dry and doesn’t hook me very well.
I think this is largely because the story is ABOUT Paige's growth from the events that happen, but the query doesn't express this. She IS the angel undercover, even though the story contains an actual angel who is undercover. What I mean by angel undercover is that she is an amazing, good person in a surprise package. No one, leastwise herself, expects her to do the things she does and be the person she becomes. Make sense?
Suggestions? Good, bad, and ugly, I want to hear it all. :)
Editing update: Chs 2 and 3 are done, with 2K shaved off between the two of them. I cannot thank my CC and blogging partners enough. Without what I’ve learned from these people, I wouldn’t know what to focus on when editing AUC. So thank you all!