Friday, May 05, 2006

Q & A 4 How much info about the plot?


Seems most every "How To Write A Query" article written by someone worth their salt says one -- two at the most -- paragraphs about your novel. Paragraph one, the hook. Paragraph two/three, your story. Paragraph four, your credits. End.

Imagine yourself as an appliance salesman. You go to an editor's home. You start with your hook: "How would you like a vacuum cleaner twice as powerful as any other on the market?" You move on to your first selling points: "It's light. It has a dozen attachments. It's so quiet cats aren't afraid of it." Then you pull out a giant trash bag filled with dirt, sawdust, and hamster droppings, and dump the entire thing on the carpet. You check your watch. "Uh oh," you say, "I can stay only a few more minutes."

Question: What would the editor like you to do in those few minutes?

a. Demonstrate how powerfully your vacuum sucks.
b. Spew out a list of other appliances you've sold, along with the names of those who've purchased them.

Now, if you're trying to sell vacuum cleaners to agents, you may find that some of them can tolerate messy carpets.

6 comments:

KV said...

Awesome analogy . . .


Kathy

truthteller said...

This is a very funny site.

Karen Erickson said...

That was the best analogy. Thanks for sharing your knowledge! (and your biting humor...)

Jen said...

Excellent blog!

Dayna_Hart said...

I would be happy if a vacuum salesman would vacuum my floors...

oh wait. this was an analogy...

Tawny Taylor said...

Interesting way to look at it. And I see where submitting the same query to agents and editors wouldn't be particularly wise. Like you suggest--the focus wound need to be a little different with agents than it would be with editors.