WIP Wednesday – The Trouble with Queries

I was lamenting to my crit partner yesterday that I am having a really hard time with the query for my WIP. I wanted to get it polished up so that I could submit it over at Writeoncon. Unfortunately the feedback I’ve gotten on various versions has been contradictory at best! I so appreciate people taking the time to look it over but when half of your reviewers think it’s confusing and needs more details and the other half think it’s too long and too detailed, what the heck do you do???

I’ve banged out half a dozen different options so far. And none of them wow me. The problem is partly the story. How do you summarize a story with 3 different POV characters, two different time periods, and a dragon? It’s impossible, I say! Impossible!

Ahem. Sorry about the outburst. I’m query-frazzled.

I’ve bought the books, read the websites, looked at examples. And I just can’t figure out how to make this work. Do I just focus on 1 of the POV characters? But they’re all sort of interconnected, so then I feel like I’m misleading the reader. I’ve tried to focus on what would make me buy the book if I read the back cover. But that’s not exactly helping since I’ve already read it!

I guess I’m just going to have to keep at it. It always comes right eventually. I’ll have to trust that this time will be no different. And maybe I’ll suddenly get inspired. Hey – a girl can dream!

Anyone have any helpful advice?


  1. Queries are so darn hard! You're definitely not alone in your frustrations. This is the advice that really helped me: a query isn't meant to convey the whole story, it's only meant to get the agent hooked so s/he will want to read more. So I say keep it simple, don't worry about trying to boil the entire story down, and just focus on getting your reader hooked. I hope that helps. Good luck!

  2. Great advice Anna – simple is good. Unfortunately I never make it easy on myself with my writing! LOL

  3. I posted my query for critiques and got conflicting information, too. I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to gut and reform my query but got frustrated. I think I'm thinking too hard about it. I like Anna's advice! Get 'em hooked then move on.