Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Agents on Query letters

I'm constantly reading agent and editor blogs in the hopes of learning something new, so I thought I'd start linking to blog entries that I found the most useful. Here's one on how not to start query letters.

Like most literary agents, Nathan Bransford doesn't like query letters that start with rhetorical questions. See: Queries Beginning With Rhetorical Questions. A comment made by a reader named Scott points out why starting a query letter this way is a bad idea:

In rewriting my rhetorical question as a statement, I think I landed on the reason rhetorical questions don't work. They address "you" instead of being based on the character.

When you read a question, you might think something like, "Who cares what I can imagine? Who is your character and what's his problem?

I didn't realize what a big turn-off starting with rhetorical questions was when I wrote my query letter, but I'm relieved to say that I didn't make this mistake. Now you know to avoid it, too--especially if you're sending a query letter to Nathan Bransford.

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