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New Articles & Site Updates: Hooks, Queries, & Research

New Articles on the Archetype Site!

In this Writing the Query Letter series, Elana Johnson walks us through the essential parts of a query letter -- the kind that will attract agents and get your work read!

Writing the Query Letter Part 1 - The Hook by Elana Johnson
There are literally hundreds of websites where you can go to find out how to write a query letter. But the fact is, you don't want just a query letter. You want a great query letter--one that sets yours above the others.

Writing the Query Letter Part 2 - The Setup by Elana Johnson
Once you've hooked the agent to read your whole query letter, you've got to deliver. You can't just have a hook and then let everything else slide. Following the hook, you need to get to the problem.

Writing the Query Letter Part 3 - The Conflict by Elana Johnson
Now to the part that everyone wants to read—the conflict. Every novel needs it. In fact, the more conflict, the better. In the query letter, you want to highlight the main conflict, not every single one in every single chapter.

Writing the Query Letter Part 4 - The Consequence by Elana Johnson 
In the queries I've read, the consequence is what's lacking the most. The consequence. You've hooked me, set me up, explained the conflict that's keeping me from getting what I want, but…what will happen if I don't solve the conflict? That's the consequence.

Writing the Query Letter Part 5 - Everything Else by Elana Johnson
This part of the series tackles the title and word count, marketing and comparisons, and the bio.

Even if you've followed this series on the Blog , you'll want to check out the two links below:

At the bottom of each of Elana's articles is a link to a bonus -- a set of worksheets to help you write your own query letter!

Also be sure to check out Michelle McLean's take on how to write a hook: How To Write A Hook Line Or Logline.
Your hook line, like a logline, takes a story full of complex plotlines and high-concept ideas and breaks it down into a simple sentence that can be quickly and easily conveyed to a wide range of people. Your hook line is your first pitch in getting someone interested in your book. It can be used as the first line in your query letter, to help hook the agent into reading the rest of the letter and requesting information. And it is especially useful for those pitch sessions at conferences or lunches. When a prospective agent or editor asks you what your book is about, your hook line is your answer. Because it is a simple line or two, it is also handy for those family dinner parties when Grandma asks what your book is about.

Also don't miss The Writer's Guide to Research, also by Michelle McLean
As a writer who focuses mainly on historical settings, research is an important part of my writing process. In this article, learn how to research anything online!

Finally, I trimmed my blog post on Angst, Mental Illness, and Creativity into an article by the same name (link goes to the article).

Archetype Site Updates

Visual Prompts area has been updated.


  1. Elana Johnson said...
    Thanks Archetype, for posting my articles on your website!
    Carolyn Kaufman | @CMKaufman said...
    Of course -- they're so good!! :-D
    Anonymous said...
    Nice guys spoil us!!

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