The Query Shark Guide to Query Letters

So, you plan on going the traditional route of finding an agent who will try to find a publisher for your manuscript. That means you have to master the fine art of writing * cue dark threatening music* – THE QUERY LETTER…

Here’s Query Shark’s template for creating the winning query:

What does the protagonist want?
What’s keeping him from getting it?
What choice/decision does he face?
What terrible thing will happen if he chooses A; what terrible thing will happen if he doesn’t.
 
Here’s another form of the same thing:
 
The main character must decide whether to ________. If s/he decides to do (this), the consequences/outcome/peril s/he faces are______. If s/he decides NOT to do this: the consequences/outcome/peril s/he faces are________.
 
Obviously you don’t just fill in the blanks, or just answer the questions. You use this template to get the important information in the right order. You build on to this skeleton. But, you start here, and work up.
 
All right, hopeful writers out there dreaming of becoming published authors — have at it! 

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