Queries


I hate queries. The only thing I hate worse than writing a query is writing a synopsis.

A Synopsis is like a slow torture. How can you take your book (some 200 or more pages, of tens of thousands of words) and reduce it to one page, just a few hundred words. It’s the equivalent to taking your child and trying to decide what to chop off, so it can fit into a size someone else has deemed viewable.

Having said that, I understand an agent or an editor has so much to do in a day that queries and a synopsis are the only way to get your work looked at. Yet, that also means it has to be so good, that that one or two pages piques their interest. So much rides on your ability to do so well.

Well, I’ve failed at my first round of queries for my vampire story. I decided to set the book to the side for a while and concentrate on writing the sequel and on the mystery/thriller/suspense book.  ( I haven’t decided which fits it best.) So where am I going, you may be asking.

I’ve decided to query some magazines. I have some short stories that could be great for a few magazines. I sent out the first query today. Fingers and toes crossed for a good response. (It’s really hard to type with crossed fingers, I’m hunting and pecking!)

Here are the first few paragraphs of that story.


Mrs. Vargas worked happily in her kitchen. The aroma of freshly baked cookies filled the house. She heard the door open, and glanced at the clock. “I’m in here, honey. Come get a cookie.” Jimmy and his friend Mark entered the kitchen.
“What kind did you make, mom?” Jimmy asked.
“They’re chocolate chip, of course.” She turned from the stove to wink at him.
“It always smells so good here, Mrs. Vargas.” Mark said.
“Thank you, Mark. Why don’t you stay for dinner?”
“Thank you,” Mark nodded and picked up a cookie.

Mrs. Vargas turned the knob controlling the heat to the large stockpot. She turned to the counter and began disassembling the few appliances.
“What are those for?” Mark asked. “My mom doesn’t have any that look like those.”
Mrs. Vargas giggled quietly. “This one is a pasta maker. I make my own noodles.”
“Why?” Mark asked.
Jimmy sat at the table.
“Well, I can control what goes into the food we eat if I make it all myself.” She said placing the pieces into the hot water waiting in the sink.
“How do you make everything by yourself?”
Jimmy rolled his eyes.
Mrs. Vargas laughed. “Jimmy wished you hadn’t asked that.”
Jimmy blushed, “No mom, it’s just. . . “
“It’s alright,” she interrupted, “I’ll give you the quickest answer.”

The magazine’s topic is All Natural. What do you think?

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6 thoughts on “Queries

  1. Keri Peardon says:

    Just like to express my condolences. LOL. Been there with the queries and synopsis, wrote 4 drafts!

    I continued to write on my trilogy while I was working on that, and while I was querying. I ended up with 50 rejections over the course of a year (which is terribly depressing), so I ended up self-publishing. It’s a hell of a lot of work, but in a way it’s actually a relief, because I’m not waiting on someone else. If I win or lose, it’s all on me. Which is the way I prefer to roll in life.

    All that query writing didn’t go to waste, though; it prepared me to write the back cover/blurb (of which there were 4 more versions!).

    • mari wells says:

      Thank you Keri,
      I had written 2 or 3 drafts, that I sent to agents. I wrote so many that I lost count. I think a writer always has to continue writing “Something” while waiting to hear back, or they’d go crazy. Kudos on self publishing, sorry to hear you got so many rejections. I’d hide in bed for a week! I’m not at the point where I could consider self publishing, I believe it is too much work. You are a great role model! Thank you for sharing with me.

  2. Brenda says:

    I enjoyed this story… if I closed my eyes, I could see the illustrations that went with the story. I thought it was very good.

  3. I find queries and synops to be as difficult as morning sickness was. I have about 25 of each to mesh together to create a Frankenquery whenever the need occurs, and I never really like it. Ever. Kill me.

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