Monday, March 7, 2011

Query Mad Lib

I just finished sending out four queries and one full.  The butterflies began as soon as I turned on the computer.  I think I was trembling as I personalized each one—scared to type the wrong name, have any grammatical errors and/or send the wrong requirements.  I even closed my eyes as I pushed send, which might prove to be bad if I ever hit the wrong button. 

I am hoping that these new queries help me get my mind off the reply from the agent that already had my full manuscript.  I know it will just add to my obsessive email checks and twitter stalking.  Maybe stalking sounds a bit creepy, but it isn’t what you think.  I just constantly check my twitter to see if any of the agents I have queried that I follow on twitter has mentioned anything about their queries.  Many agents will tweet things like, “I have caught up on all queries to this date; if you haven’t heard anything from me it is a no.”  Or they will say stuff like, “Wow, what a great (or horrible) query.”  In that case, anyone who has queried them begins to bite their nails. 

I have said many times how much research we do for our queries.  While looking for tips, I stumbled on a blog post that was brilliant. I only wish it were this easy.  I am going to steal a little bit from Sarah Mullen Gilbert's blog.

Query Mad Lib
What’s better on a car trip than doing Mad Libs? (answer: Playing cards with your sister, who doesn’t realize her cards are reflecting in the window behind her. But other than that, nothing.) So I thought we could all use some Mad Lib action in our Friday. Grab a writing utensil and scrap paper and come up with words for these ten categories:
(1) Emotion
(2) Number
(3) Number
(4) Noun (plural)
(5) Girl’s name
(6) Favorite Halloween costume
(7) Color
(8) Animal (plural)
(9) Fairy tale creature
(10) Number

Got all ten filled in? No cheating, now.

Now go to Sarah Mullen Gilbert blog: Query Mad Lib to read your query!  (Feel free to post your Query Mad Lib in the comment section below)

Check out these different ways to look at the query process:

Check back later this week for the new poll!


  1. I remember the Query Mad-Lib--I think my comment is still there, actually. So much fun. Thanks for linking to my query flow chart!

  2. I just call my queries - the pooch-smoochers, and that way I don't expect much from them. That way rejection is a surprise rather than long anticipated. Hehe - I don't mean to sound so silly about it, really - once you have had a few - it's sort of like ok -next. Don't be discouraged by that no - or hang all your hopes on any one book.

    Call them a blister on the road to that hole-in-one, keep swinging and just trust that if you decide 200 rejections is the magic give up number - 207 may have been the ONE! When you look at it that way - it isn't personal ( it really isn't ) and you accomplished finding out that one was not it.

    I do stalk some agents - especially ones who are trying to share good ideas. But not every one I query. I would probably go nuts if I tortured myself that some random twitter comment was aimed at me - lol. If they want you they will call - If they don't then they won't. Stalking for hints won't get you any useful information - write instead - or pretend your doing the final edit...grin - oh and I am newly stalking you!

  3. HowLynn ~ welcome to the blog! You are my first official stalker and I love it! My stalking isn't as crazy as it comes off.

    But it did get bad this week when an agent that has my query decided to live tweet her thoughts on the queries she was reading. Of course I thought every bad comment was mine, but I still have not received a rejection. So the worrying was for nothing because this agent probably hasn't even gotten to my query yet.

    My family has been keeping me very occupied, so my mind has been off of the agents. But I still hold my breath when I open my email. Well again thanks for stopping by.

  4. My Mad Lib Query (by a non-writer, but book reviewer):

    Dear Agent-

    Happiness is a 15-word novel exploring what happens when a girl goes on a quest to save 4 cats.

    Jessica’s life is perfectly normal, thank you very much, until a one-eyed princess’s prophecy sends her on an impossible quest. Now, Jessica must survive blue dogs, save a young dwarf, and find the true meaning of happiness.

    I’ve worked on this novel for 21 months and am confident it’s the best premise ever. Thank you for your consideration,

    Future best-selling author

    Not that bad... maybe someone can write a book about it. :)