Two cents are worth just that

Some of my writer friends are struggling with query letters right now. I struggle with them from time to time, and I hate them. Desperately. You have to condense your novel into a couple of paragraphs while still making it exciting and including what other stories are similar and how yours is refreshingly different. Oh, and everyone and their dog has an opinion on how they should be written. Well, maybe the dogs don’t really care…
But should you have one, two or even three paragraphs about plot? Should you jump right in with the plot or have your leading paragraph sound more businesslike? Should you include your degree in your bio? If you’re writing fiction, should you include non-fiction writing credits?
No, I can’t really answer any of those. Not only does every different person have an idea, nearly every different agent has one as well. The best you can do is to get a letter that you think looks good and exciting, include details of the plot that take up as small a bit of room as possible, and if you’re lucky enough to have credits in the realm that you’re trying to publish in, be sure to include those. After that, you’re just left with a letter you like, unless the agent or editor you’re querying has specifics for what they want, and they published those specifics somewhere you can find. One thing is for certain, you can’t please everyone.

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