I hope you don't think I'm cheap by reposting this, but I think it's a perfect fit for FFW's topic. I've updated it as well, so I hope it's better now!
You can see what the other Fantastic Friday Writers have to say about query letters. Alex J. Cavanaugh, Anastasia V. Pergakis, J. D. Brown, Deirdra Eden-Coppel, M. Pax, Jeffrey Beesler, Charlene A. Wilson, and Andrew J. Cooper!
First off, when I create my query letters, I keep it to 3 paragraphs. Always make sure that it is written to the right agent. I know I wouldn't want a query letter on a horror novel when I only handle children's picture books, so make sure you do your research and get it to the right person!
Para #1: A simple logline, the book title, genre and word count.
Para #2: A short, but catchy blurb
Para#3: Your credentials
Don't forget all your email addresses, and phone numbers!
Okay, now for the meat, but we'll start with the bread. ;)
How is the food pyramid like a query letter? Well, let's see. The broadest part bread, cereal, rice & pastas with the most servings a day is at the bottom. So on so forth with a "Use Sparingly" at the top.
Darvell Hunt introduced this formula in my writers group, though it isn't a new concept:
It's an upside down pyramid that is very much like food pyramid.
Journalists and other writers use the "inverted pyramid" to show where the most important stuff goes within text. This is a common way for writing news stories for journalism students!
I feel the reason why we have a hard time writing queries is because (and I quote Darvell because he said it SO sufficiently I'm afraid to mess it up):
"I think this style very much applies to writing queries, but not so much to writing fiction--and therein lies a possible reason why we fiction writers have such a difficult time writing queries. We think in terms of the path of the story rather than supplying important information quickly. Queries are really non-fiction--a business letter, if you will--and we should write them as such."
Bravo! Well said, Darvell!
So, what do you think? Do you agree that it could be a formula to query letter writing?