Show, not Tell

There are 3 rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

Lesson 8

with 2 comments

This one is about queries!

Read QueryShark like it’s the Bible.

No, really.

Even still, it’s not going to be easy work. Queries are the ultimate way for agents to know how well you write. Ridiculously, these little letters showcase your writing in 250-350 words. How is this possible?! It shows that you can be short, concise, and on-point. If you can do that in a query letter, you can do that in a scene. It means you know how to use words right.

Queries suck. I’ve revised mine at least fifteen times by now.

How many times have you revised yours?


Written by Jessica Lei

August 25, 2010 at 5:23 am

Posted in Lessons, Queries, Revising

2 Responses

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  1. Query Shark is helpful but it is not gospel. Janet makes a lot of side money with query workshops at conferences, as much as agenting, and query shark is marketing for her.
    fact is, writers digest states query acceptance is 5 percent. Query Shark acceptance is 4 percent. Less than the overall average. And of the queries that were accepted, the average was two revisions meaning that query shark did not affect much, and of those, janet admits on her blog they do not follow her rules. The stories stood on their own.


    September 2, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    • The stories should stand on their own, I agree with you completely. Sometimes it’s all right to break the rules–and I think that was Janet’s intention when she admitted that they didn’t follow her own set. QueryShark, and her workshops, are meant to help you learn what a good query is so you can break those rules. I read all of the queries and most of the revisions, and I think I learned quite a few things about what a query needs to contain and why these elements are so important. I would recommend other people read a few of the articles as well and that’s why this post is here 🙂

      Jessica Lee

      September 2, 2010 at 4:31 pm

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