Dear Query, I hate you.

Query 2

 The other day I was on the lookout for a new show to watch. I’m always looking for that hidden gem and every now and then I find one.

I was scrolling through a list of shows when I came across something called Last Man on Earth. The title didn’t grab me but the description did.

The year is 2020 and after a deadly virus has swept the planet, only one man is left on earth: Phil Miller. He used to be just an average guy who loved his family and hated his job. Now in his RV, Phil searches the country for other survivors. He has traveled to every city, every town and every outpost in the United States, Mexico and Canada and has found no one. As he returns to his hometown of Tucson, Phil comes to the painful realization that he is almost certainly the last living being on the face of the earth. All he wants is for someone, anyone to find him in Tucson. Preferable a woman. 

 In just a few words, 116 to be exact, it told me everything I needed to know and because of that I was sold.

About this time I found myself traveling back to an age old question that I could never answer. It goes something like this:

Why am I the worst query writer ever?

A while back my good friend KM Allan wrote an excellent piece on this topic. For me her post was a reminder on everything I do wrong.

No matter how hard I try and no matter how many novels I may write, chances are pretty high I am going to struggle with this damn query writing gig for the rest of my days.

So why is that? Why do I struggle with something that should be so simple?

Query 1

As time moved on I have spoken to others and discovered I’m not alone in this. True, they’re not as bad as me but their struggles and frustrations are real.

In a way I feel we’ve created our own little club.

Welcome to the ‘I Suck at Query Club’! Members please sign in. Donations accepted. Please help yourself to snacks. Today is BBQ chip day.

If I had written Last Man on Earth there is no way I could have written a query like that. Now you would think it would be easy. It drew me in. The story line was perfect and by the time I fished I knew the protagonist.

But let’s face it, mine would have been a wreck and you would have moved on to something else.

So I finally came to the conclusion that I am to heavily invested in my story and because of that I’ve learned a valuable lesson: Have someone else write it.

I have a mind that can write a novel but I do not have a mind that can write a query. So if you’re like me have your editor or beta reader or something with a natural talent to write it.

It’s not their story. They are on the outside looking in and sometimes when you’re in the middle it’s hard to see the forest from the trees.

Some of us are naturals at this and some of us really suck at it. If you happen to be on the sucky end of things embrace the reality. And while you’re embracing it find someone who is better at it than you.

Happy Friday Everyone!!!!!

Query 3


43 thoughts on “SPONTANEOUS FRIDAY

  1. A most amusing post, Bryan. I have never written or sent a query to an agent. I like my small publisher and have not particular interest in changing. That being said, I have written blurbs which are similar to queries. I am not that good at it and have come to the same realization that you have. Get someone else to write it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s good to admit when we’re not good at things. For me it’s a sense of relief. Thankfully, with the world we live in, there’s plenty of help.

      Thank you for your comments. Have yourself a great day.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. 🤣 I love your posts, Bryan. So much so I’ll even forgive you for spelling my surname incorrectly 😋. Thanks also for linking to my post. If only we could send all agents cheeseburgers to get them to read our books.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. What a relatable post! Writing queries is definitely hard, but the important thing is to boil the story down to the conflict and stakes. Without conflict, there’s no story; without stakes, the reader doesn’t know why they should care. Here’s to killing your darlings! *drains glass and quietly sobs in the corner*

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You are so good with this, Ellie. I really appreciate you taking the time to stop on by. Your thoughts and suggestions on Twitter are some of the best around. Huge thanks.


  4. There are templates for query letters you know, and there is Fiverr.com. For a modest fee, someone of your choosing can show you the best way to do it… Query letters are almost as bad as writing a synopsis!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Aww, don’t feel bad, Bryan! To me, that’s a query letter full of bullcrap and pretty much ensures I won’t ever check out “Last Man on Earth”. 😀 So keep slogging on, and know that despite your skills at querying, there’s probably someone out there who wants to read your story! (Just as there’s always someone who will hate your story, too…)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m worried about he poor last man on earth, did you watch it to find out what happened? Obviously we on the other side of the Atlantic have survived and will still be here in 2020, but I guess he would have to find a boat…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Learning lessons from life and still living in a light hearted way is something that I feel radiate from your posts.
    Really inspiring and wonderful to read. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  8. They are impossible, every agent has different things they are looking for, a different approach, and the tailoring takes ages. Still, good template you have going there, perhaps in green crayon though?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s a one page attention grabber. It’s a combination of your book in a nutshell and a little bit about you. The goal is to grab their attention enough to ask for 30 pages or the entire thing. Think job interview.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh! That’s tough—a couple of months ago, my publisher asked for a 100 word summary of my new book for promos and stuff. The book is 250 pages, and trying to boil down the plot and make it attention-getting just about killed me!

        Liked by 1 person

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