The Query Mashup Experiement

So, I’ve been working on this specific draft of my novel for about a year and working on my query letter for about the same length of time. I really have a hard time trying to figure out what’s important. The main reason for this is because my story is written from multiple perspectives and different scenes of importance revolve around different characters. After posting some revisions on QueryTracker, I decided to write two completely different query letters. One from the male protagonist’s perspective and one from the female protagonist’s perspective. The overall feedback I received was that I should combine the two into one query. Well, at first I just stared at my computer screen, because now people wanted me to take 500 words worth of decent query and cut them back to 250. After a few days spent in contemplation, I decided to print out both versions so I could see them side-by-side.

Query Mashup, step 1
Query Mashup, step 1

Then I pulled out the scissors.

Query Mashup, step 2
Query Mashup, step 2

Then I read them both aloud and tried to put them into an order that would make sense–word count doesn’t matter yet. *Notice that I did cut one entire paragraph though.

Query Mashup, step 3
Query Mashup, step 3

And now we’re cooking. As I read this new version aloud, I gussied it up with a black permanent marker.

Query Mashup, step 4
Query Mashup, step 4

This left me with a rather disjointed query letter, though it contained–for the first time–all the major points I wanted to get across. So I typed this back into a new word.doc and let it simmer on my computer for a few days. Then, I attacked it with fresh eyes and was able to whip together something I’m pretty darn proud of. It also happens to fall within an appropriate word length.

Query Mashup, step 5
Query Mashup, step 5

I’m sure at this point it’ll undergo a few refining edits, but for the first time since I started the query adventure, I feel like I’m heading in the right direction. Has anyone else undergone similar experiences? I’d love to hear how you conquered the query hurdle!

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