Monday, November 29, 2010

Query Letters Revisited

Last week I was lamenting my failed attempt at query letters. I spent a good part of Sunday reading through Query Shark's blog, looking back at my blank word page and trying to figure out what to write. This is what I got:

Tommy's not human. He's a vampire. That means his life focuses on one thing: Survival. Despite his need to survive, Tommy can't resist the human world he left behind, curious of all they say and do.

I don't really care for it. It has key elements of my story, but it's just not catchy enough. I don't think it would grab attention like I need it to. In the end, for my sanity, I had to put it aside, relax and focus on something else. I knew I'd have to come back to it eventually, but for now, it was time to wait until my mind was fresh and ready to try again.

Then inspiration hit!

Inspiration hit as I was laying in bed, trying to sleep because I have to get up at 6am for work M-F. (Honestly, when else is inspiration suppose to hit? Besides while I'm in the shower with no pen or paper at hand.) I was wide awake, scrambling for the notepad beside my bed. I furiously scribbled down every word, eager to get it on paper before I forgot. I gave it a quick once over, then exhaled a breath of relief and resumed my attempt to sleep. I didn't look at what I wrote again...

Until now. Now I'm looking at it and I still like it. It's a little choppy and uneven, but it's more than four sentences. It could actually be a real query letter. That excites me to no end.

So here, for your viewing pleasure, is my first draft query letter for Being Human.

Tommy doesn't remember being human. He knows he use to be human, but he's not anymore. Tommy is a vampire and that means his life revolves around one thing: Survival.

And his twin brother.
And his family.
And his friends.

Despite no longer being human, Tommy can't help but feel drawn to the human world. It amazes him in ways he struggles to understand. But the human world is not without danger. Humans know what Tommy is and they hate him for it. Humans hate vampires so much that they will do anything to destroy Tommy and every single vampire in existence.

Tommy just wants to survive and he'll do whatever it takes. But with the human world constantly calling to him, he'll find it takes more than instinct to survive. And when the humans that matter the most to him are put at risk, he'll discover being human means more than being a human.


  1. thanks for the advice posted on FB patricia. ill be reading your post. tried this one but it seems i have to read the earlier post related to this.
    i am now a follower. and gave you in a link too in my site

  2. I'm no expert, but I think you need to be more specific about what your story is about. Maybe start with "Tommy's a vampire. That means his life focuses on one thing: survival" as your hook, followed by your story's five main plot points (turning points). This will be the meat of your query. To this, of course, you'll add the paragraphs giving the stats (title, genre, etc), relevant background, etc. Good luck.