Friday, March 12, 2010

How to Write a Query In 40 Easy Steps (Friday Funny)

Thanks to the ever fabulous CJ Redwine for allowing me to steal her post... For the original, click here. (And be sure to follow her blog. She's funny, likes loves Johnny Depp/stilettos, and knows her sheeyat. For reals.)

How to Write a Query in 40 Simple Steps

A query is the one-page letter you send to agents and publishers pitching your novel.

1. Pour yourself a small glass of gin & tonic.
2. Sip slowly, savoring the taste, as you carefully list your novel's main characters and conflicts.
3. Struggle to label your work with the appropriate genre.
4. Pour more gin and tonic to boost brain power.
5. Craft a first sentence that both grabs the reader's attention and conveys the essence of your novel.
6. Re-read first sentence.
7. Acknowledge that first sentence is absolute crap and delete the entire thing.
8. Pour more gin and tonic, minus the tonic.
9. Skip first sentence and dive into character descriptions.
10. Re-read character descriptions.
11. Acknowledge that character descriptions cannot be three paragraphs each and delete all but a few sentences.
12. Drain gin bottle.
13. Toss in a few sentences describing the conflict.
14. Re-read sentences describing conflict.
15. Acknowledge that the conflict sounds rather weak.
16. Toss in a conflict that isn't 
actually in the novel but could be, if the agent asks for a partial.
17. Wander to the kitchen for more gin.
18. Wonder what idiot put that wall in your way.
19. Return to desk.
20. Re-read query.
21. Drink two swallows of gin straight from the bottle.
22. Decide that "I have a fiction novel that totally kicks Dean Koontz's sorry keister" is an acceptable first sentence.
23. Study the problem of deciding on a genre.
24. Take a few swallows of gin for fortification.
25. Realize you now see two keyboards on your desk instead of one. Choose which one to use.
26. Type madly for thirty seconds before realizing you are simply banging on your desk.
27. Swallow some gin and choose the other keyboard.
28. Decide that literary-paranormal-romantic-suspense-thriller-with-historical-sci-fi-elements is an acceptable genre for your novel.
29. Re-read query.
30. Insert adverbs generously and prolifically throughout to spice up the prose.
31. Print.
32. Spend five minutes cursing the foul beast of a computer for refusing such a simple request.
33. Turn printer on.
34. Print.
35. Sign name.
36. Realize you've misspelled your name.
37. Curse the gin.
38. Apologize to the gin.
39. Re-print, re-sign, seal in an envelope.
40. Send query.

You don't even have to tell me this made you laugh. Because if you've ever tried to write a query, I KNOW it did!  

Um, and for the record, CJ gives these super awesome query/synopsis critiques/workshops--for, like, practically nothing. So sign up if you need help. I just finished her query workshop and she friggin' ROCKED it!  Check her offerings out HERE.

♥ Sara


  1. #28 is my favorite- this was great.

  2. Sara, YOU friggin' rock it! Thanks for totally making my Friday. :-)

  3. Oh yes, I don't have to tell you, but I do want to know where you find all of these funnies! Hilarious!

  4. 18. Wonder what idiot put that wall in your way.

    Legendary! Wicked stuff mate!

  5. I hazd a wity coment al redy to go but k=I thinmk I typpeds it up omn the sec9ndf kewyb9oard...

    *wanders off to kitchen to find more vodka*

    *realizes he's at work*


    *weeps a tiny bit*

  6. I feel like you stepped inside my mind with #16 there. STOP THAT! LOL

    This was awesome!

  7. This list is made of win. :) Great post and thanks for sharing it with us.

  8. I stopped after step one (hic).
    That was awesome, dude. You come here a lot (hic)
    This is like my (hic) favorite blog n stuff.
    Where the bathroom?

  9. Love that post!

    Also, three words: gin and Tang. It should be disgusting, but it is pretty terrific (at least, I thought it was in college).

  10. ha! I love this even the second time around. CJ's hiiiiiiiilllllarious. I could eat her up with a spork of doom. Thanks for posting this! :)

    Love "apologize to the gin"

    I do believe I have done this to my amaretto, in particular after spilling it. Such a tragic loss.

  11. OMG!!! This is too funny...and sadly familiar if you substitute "amaretto" for "gin". :)

  12. Will your blog let me post a comment today? Or is it still miffed that you got stuck with the Johnny-look-alike while the REAL Johnny and I left port for the islands and a weekend of adventure on the high seas?

  13. Love it. CJ cracks me up.
    And considering my new found love for gin and tonic, this seemed personally written for me. ;)

    When will you be querying Shattered? (or maybe you already are? I can't remember. Sorry, brain is overloaded.)

  14. Glad you all enjoyed this as much as I did!

    Simon and Iapetus999--neither of your comments surprised me, though they did make me crack up!

    CJ, I'm glad you wrote a comment about writing a comment. And the only reason you have the REAL Johnny is because I LET YOU. ;-)

    Karen, um that's an excellent question, ha. I'm hoping to query by midApril at the very latest... Not sure though. Hope your revisions are rockin' girl!

  15. My Dearest Sara,

    You are in imminent danger of pissing off a Ninja with a Spork of Doom, a sassy gold lame thong, and the REAL Johnny Depp.

    I have 46 acres and a shovel. No one would ever find you.

    Much love,



Yay! I love when you have things to add :)