Agent query letter example 2: writing a synopsis paragraph for multiple perspectives
Whose story is it?
If you missed our first Friday Hours Office post about Kerri’s query letter which was efficient and intelligent but emotionally rushed, please go back and visit it so you get a sense of what I think that query letters should be doing in today’s competitive marketplace.
Today, we’ll be looking at an agent query letter from a subscriber named Tara—thanks for giving us permission to use your letter, Tara!
Let’s take a look at her original query:
Tone: Tara posits her manuscript as “up-lit women’s fiction threaded with humor” and her query letter demonstrates this tone in spades. When you hear people saying that the voice of your query letter should match the voice of your writing, this is what they’re talking about. (Personally, I think a voicey approach works best when you are querying humorous commercial fiction, and not, for example, when you are querying dark experimental short stories, but that is a topic for another newsletter.)
Intriguing central relationship with situational irony: I am all-in for an in-law dramedy. The premise of a daughter-in-law and mother-in-law reluctantly coming together to solve the missing-person case of their respective husband and son is super selling. The set-up is cinematic, it’s charming—it pretty much guarantees that an agent will ask for the manuscript’s first pages to see if Tara’s writing can live up to what she’s promised here.
Title: Love it. “Any Other Summer” begs to be put in your beach bag, and aligns tonally with the content Tara is promising in her manuscript.