Following various tweets and retweets I came across a great blog posting from the US by writer J.M. Tohline about approaching agents via query letters and submitting manuscripts.
There was a response from an agent called Amy Boggs that not only identified what should go in an agent query letter but neatly summed up the dynamics of virtually any novel (if you substitute ‘novel’ for ‘query’).
The bulk of a query should consist of 1) the main character, 2) what happens to complicate their life, 3) what goals they now have in response to that complication, and 4) the main obstacle between them and their goal. That is the cake of the query; everything else is just frosting and sprinkles.
Of course there’s an awful lot that needs to go into the writing of a novel that is just frosting and sprinkles but the cake is what most readers really want.
Click here to read the full, comprehensive posting.