MUSINGS OF A STORY MERCHANT

Friday, January 15, 2010

INGREDIENTS FOR THE EMAIL QUERY:

HOOK, BOOK, COOK

--overheard at Crimebake 2009, Boston


The ideal book (or script) EMAIL QUERY is only 10 lines long, maximum, and need only include:

THE HOOK.

Three lines, maximum, that grab our attention and won’t let go. This is the sizzle.

Example: Demon Keeper by Royce Buckingham

Logline: When an apprentice demon keeper is suddenly orphaned he inherits the responsibility of a house full of mischievous demons.

THE BOOK.

Less than ten lines, maximum, giving us an idea of what the body of the book (or script) contains. This is the steak.


When NATHANIEL is suddenly orphaned he inherits the responsibility of a house full of mischievous demons despite that he is not yet fully trained in the art of Demon Keeping. It is a crazy, dangerous job, and a lonely one. He knows better than to shirk his responsibilities but he’s too lonely to resist SANDY the local Liberian. Nat leaves the house unattended while on a date with Sandy. The evening does not go well. Not only is the naïve and peculiar Nat an awkward date, but while he is away, all hell breaks loose back at the house. Two juvenile burglars break into his creepy home on a dare, and the most vicious demon in his care—THE BEAST, killer of lost children—is released. To make matters even worse, an evil Demon Keeper called THE THIN MAN shows up to wrest control of the house and demons from Nat.


THE COOK.

Three lines, maximum, about YOU, and why/how you’re qualified to be writing this book.


If you succeed in hooking us, don’t worry! We’ll ask for more.

1 comment:

Arr Ell Ess said...

Thank you for posting this. It was VERY informative. Caused me to rethink my query from the top down. The new query is much stronger for it. We shall see how the agents respond.