Show Don’t Tell, Even in Queries

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Jan 09 2017

One of the best ways to write a query is to show your reader what the book is and what it’s about. Just as you need to do in your manuscript.

I’m not a big fan of the narrator of the query talking to me. Sure, the introductory paragraph is often from the author’s POV, as is the bio, but when it comes to the blurb, I want you to show me what your book is about. I want to see the story in my mind and feel the tone of the genre.

In other words, I don’t want something like this, “this story stands out from other books because it’s a dramatic tale that shows readers about the internal struggle the main character deals with as a paranoid schizophrenic and her eventual journey to a new awakening.” No. I don’t want that. I want you to show me through your description of the story and of the character who she is and what she is going through in this story.

Does the cover copy ever tell you about the internal struggles of a character? Memoir might. Fiction won’t.

2 responses to “Show Don’t Tell, Even in Queries”

  1. Avatar Ana Calin says:

    One of the things I regret is having sent queries before the blurb was actually ready. Later, after I read everything out there on how to write a kick-a$$ blurb, I came to love the craft. It’s a skill in itself, I think, and I’d love to one day say I’m so good I can write a kick-a$$ blurb even for the dullest of stories (not my own, of course, LOL) . I don’t know why, but I really want that. I also love helping out other writers with their blurbs, it’s like gym 🙂

  2. […] And you know that old maxim “show don’t tell?” Well, that goes for queries too. […]