Query Letter Help

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this is maybe a bit late into the discussion, but i recently blagged a senior Gollanz editor into vetting a query letter for me in return for a drink. [she speaks about that very subject at cons sometimes so i knew it was right from the horse's mouth.]

the result was 15 mins worth of 1-2-1, while she literally scribbled over my draft, which was far more than i expected, and boiled down to:

make it shorter
only mention the main character by name
make it shorter
use shorter sentences
don't bother saying how it ends
make it shorter

see the idea? if i seem to be overstating, i should also say in that my original draft the paras dealing with the plot, ie the section that was trying to sell the story rather than dear sir-ing or talking about me etc, was already only 120 words. her version came down to 80. and i thought i was concise!

at the end, as she got up to go, trailed by 2 of 'her' authors and a lucky [all right, talented] guy who'd just snagged john jarrold for agent, she was kind enough to say when its finished send it. im still wondering whether that was serious, tho even if it was i guess it'll languish in a slushpile for years. but it did at least suggest that i wasnt too far off with the bit she'd looked at.
so short sentences, and a couple of brief, incredibly concise paras, seem to be it, leaving all the rest to the synopsis at a couple pages? leaving no excuse for her to stop reading before the end? terry
Waddya mean 'I'm still wondering whether that was serious' ????:eek:
You send it off, and talk about 'so nice to meet and talk with you the other day, and HERE IS THE WORK YOU REQUESTED ME TO SEND' or words to that effect......... Take any edge you can get, and boy, in my experience they don't say it if they don't mean it!!! Good Luck!:)

Take the Lady up on her offer. You have nothing at all to lose by doing so. You have had a door opened for you, just make sure that the work you send is the best you can produce. Such chances are rare, jump at them!
thanks for the encouragement.

am editing, ive even got the synopsis down virtually to 2 pages, its taken me a long time to really learn, as in remove head from sand and deal with, the fact that my synopses, and my opening chapters, are too long, but it seems finally to have sunk in. i guess thats why i posted here, in hope someone else wasnt so dense about it. now am wondering about a final reader-reaction before mine throw it out there,

[without rash expectations having got as far as a full manuscript read request once before for a story that didnt make it]

havent got this chronicles thing sorted yet, anyone know if theres a beta reader-type post here? [ a final-read exchange] terry

While we are on the subject of synopsis' -

Is there any correlation between the synopsis that you send to an agent/publisher and the back cover of the the final published work.
Is there any correlation between the synopsis that you send to an agent/publisher and the back cover of the the final published work.

There never has been for any of my books. It might happen with a small press publisher, I suppose, but big publishers hire people to write that sort of copy (possibly not their only tasks) and they naturally have their own ideas about what will sell the book.
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