Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hook, Line & Sinker Part II: Revenge of the Query Hook

We have a winner!
Well, OK, I have what I believe might be a winner. I finally came up with a hook line for my query with which I feel comfortable.

But before I get to that, I have some really great links regarding query letters I'd like to share with other writers struggling to pen the perfect query. (In case you haven't stumbled upon them already.)

These are the blog posts and blog sites that have helped me. Hopefully they can do the same for you.

First and foremost, anyone writing a query needs to visit Query Shark.

As the Query Shark, literary agent Janet Reid plays the Simon Cowell of the literary world, explaining to readers exactly what's wrong with the queries that readers have submitted to her.

Nathan Bransford with Curtis Brown LTD has posted some must-reads on crafting an awesome query.

Anatomy of a Good Query Part I offers an example of a query that caught his eye.
In Anatomy of a Good Query Part II, Nathan breaks down what catches his eye and spurs him to request a partial.

But for those of you who think you know everything there is to know about writing a query, the post Nathan did on dead cliches is query letters is a MUST READ. Don't just read his post. Peruse the comments here, too, because many other agents chimed in with their dead cliche peeves.

The Query Tracker, which has a wealth of information by writers for writers, offers some great tips on compiling your query list in this post.

Query Tracker also delves into the three parts of a query beginning with this post.

And if you're looking for feedback from other writers on your query, the writer Rick Daley's blog The Public Query Slushpile might be just for you.

NOW, I here it is, my new and improved hookline for my query.

"It's hard to run away when you're stumbling in daddy's footsteps."
(15 syllables No I can't count, as a matter of fact, that's why I'm a writer.) Although I stretched outside some of my self-imposed hook-writing guidelines, I pinned the voice I'd been trying to capture. I figured it was a fair trade. :-) Do you think I traded up?

So, how about you? Are there any posts by other agents or writers that have helped you hone your query?


Anonymous said...

I love your new hook! Really! The run and stumble really catch me. Nicely done.

I'm overwhelmed by sites on queries, but most you mentioned are where I've researched.

Rachelle Gardner is a good resource too! Her blog is amazing.

Nice job, Kat.

gzusfreek said...

Nice - Kat. I know you worked hard at that. I like it.
I'm still working on 'Remnants'. I did some work on the "tag line", but it changes the more I write. So I'll tuck this post away for reference. In the meantime I'll do all the homework :) There are lots of sites you have listed to cruise.
I'm so glad to know you internet sister in Christ :)
KM Wilsher

Crimogenic said...

Your hook is good. The voice is there! Congrats.

Do you plan to use your hook at the beginning of your query or at the end? There's some discussing going on where the hook should go in the query.

Kat Harris said...

Crimo -- The hook is the very first line. It's what grabs the agent and reels him/her into the rest of the letter.


Anonymous said...

I usually use my hook in the beginning. What have you heard about it? Is it better to be at the end?

ElanaJ said...

Awesome hook! I think Kristin Nelson has some good stuff on her blog.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Oooh, I like the hook. Great links here as well!