For those of you just joining us, the query process has taught me that I know very little about how to write a successful query. I'm just not good at it. Yet. But, like Thomas Edison, I am learning a thousand ways how NOT to write a query. And I'm sharing with you. 'Cause I'm generous like that.
Also, since it can help to see how a bad query can become a good query (and because, again, I'm no good at writing the aforementioned "good query"), I like to take the back cover blurbs of bestselling books and make them bad. THAT I'm good at. Then we compare the two and see what I did wrong.
Are you excited?
Today's lesson is on the importance of including story specifics, rather than hide-the-secrets vagaries. I've taken the back-cover blurb of a bestselling book and I've vagueified (vaguarized?) each sentence. The basic meaning of each sentence is still there (sort of), I haven't added or subtracted any, and they're still in the same order:
Many years ago, American life changed forever, and a new government took power. The new government keeps its citizens in line with high-tech propaganda, mass psychological abuse, and the torture of innocents.
Sixteen-year-old Jane Doe knows she’ll die when she saves a loved one from torture. But Jane is a survivor. She fights back. But if she is to survive, she will have to decide what is really important.I think you can probably guess the genre, but can you guess the book? Leave your guesses in the comments and the winner will get a prize. Um, any ideas for a good prize? One that doesn't cost any money? Would anyone be interested in a query crit from someone who can only say what's wrong with it?