I have learned a great deal about the writing world as I have begun to emerge myself in my quest to find a literary agent. Each agent has unique specifications for sending a query and a fledgling author is bound to follow those guidelines or run the risk of having their submission thrown into the slush pile.
Many agents follow a similar model for submissions so it becomes a less daunting task as time goes on, but then you get the agent who asks you to sum up your manuscript in one sentence. For me, that is a very arduous task. There are so many twists and turns to my story that it is extremely difficult to craft one sentence that can convey every nuance of the story.
Imagine that you are in a job interview and you are asked to describe yourself in one sentence. Can you do it? Or are there so many different facets to you that coming up with one line to describe all of those things is impossible?
While I gave my all to put together a sentence that did its best to describe my novel, I know I did not do my story justice. My book requires much more than just one sentence to fully illustrate its depth. After I wrote that sentence, I felt like a test car that had crashed into the wall before reaching its maximum speed.
I have been more careful in selecting agents who are willing to allow me to give much more insight into my novel than just one sentence. Even sending the first three chapters does not truly allow the people who hold my future in their hands enough material to see what the story truly has in store for them. I can only hope that they see enough bait to make them swim closer to the hook and take a full bite. I can promise, they will be reeled in if they take the chance!
I’m too “wordy” to help directly. Indirectly, what would Mark Twain write? Be truthful, direct and passionate but don’t take yourself too seriously. Have fun with it.